Flooding Water Emergency – Before, During and After
Floods are one of the most common hazards anywhere in the world. However, not all floods are alike. Some floods occur slowly, while others, such as flash floods, can come about in minutes without any visible signs of upcoming rain. In addition, flooding can be local and affect a neighborhood or community, or very large, affecting entire river basins and multiple states.
Be aware of the dangers of flooding especially if you are in a low-lying area, near water, in an area protected by a dike or a dam downstream area. Even very small streams, gullies, creeks, culverts, dry streambeds or the lowlands – which appear harmless in dry weather – can flood.
Here’s what to do before, during, and after floods:
- Prepare an emergency supply kit and make a family communications plan.
- Avoid building in flood-prone areas, unless houses are raised.
- Elevate the furnace, water heater and electric panel in your home if you live in an area with a high risk of flooding.
- Consider installing valves to prevent flood water from entering the pipes of your home.
- If possible, construct barriers to stop floodwater from entering the building and seal walls in basements with waterproofing compounds.
- Listen to the radio or television for information. Keep in mind that flash floods occur quickly. If a flash flood is likely, move to higher ground.
- Be aware of streams, drainage channels, canyons, and other areas known to flood quickly. Flash floods in these areas can occur even without the usual signs like heavy rain.
- Secure your home. If you have time, move essential items to the upper floor.
- Disconnect utilities from central switches or valves. Disconnect electrical appliances. Do not touch any electrical equipment if it is wet or has come into contact with water.
- If evacuating, do not walk through moving water. Six inches (just over 15 cm) of moving water is enough to make you lose balance. If you must walk through water, do so where the water is not moving. Use a stick to check the depth and firmness of the ground in front of you.
- Do not drive in flooded areas. If flood water grows around your car, abandon it and move into higher ground if you can do so safely.
- Monitor alert systems and local warnings for information and specialist advice as soon as they are available.
- Avoid floodwaters. The water may be contaminated by fuel, gasoline, or sewage.
- Stay away from damaged areas as instructed by police, firefighters or other emergency services.
- Flooding can cause physical danger and emotional stress. You must care for yourself and your family when you focus on cleaning and repairs after a flood.
- Repair septic tanks as soon as possible. Damaged systems pose serious health hazards.
- Check for gas leaks or water leaks, and how to restore your service. These requires emergency plumbing services and need to take action as soon as possible.
- Listen for news reports to see if the water supply of the community is safe for consumption.
Call Watermaster for all your household water needs after a flood.