Often flood events happen fast. In unexpected weather emergencies, waters can rise in a matter of minutes. The only way to protect your home and belongings is to plan in advance. Flood preparation requires simultaneous preparation on many levels, including family, community, and government.
Understand the possible risks involved in flood disasters. Rapidly flowing or still waters carry the risks of electrocution, water-borne diseases, and drowning.. Protecting your family requires an understanding of how to avoid potential problems. Maintain an emergency supply of food and water. Ensure that your first aid kit is easily accessible. Also consider waterproofing the basement. This requires excavating the soil on the exterior wall of your home to the foundation, position drainage piping, and seal the walls to keep flood waters out. If these precautions do not work, prepare to evacuate.
Have an evacuation plan ready. Do you own a boat or inflatable boat? It’s a necessity for families that live in areas prone to flooding. Keep floating objects on hand, such as tires and life jackets. Scout your neighborhood or city for safe zones that will likely remain dry in a flood. Know the best way to get to the safe area.
Community-based organizations often mobilize after an emergency event. Prior planning allows neighborhoods to ensure safe passage for area residents, if a flood occurs. Identify buildings that may serve as temporary shelters during a crisis. These buildings may serve as response focal points to assist those families in need. Post routes to select shelters, so that neighborhood residents are aware of where they may go in an emergency flood situation. Develop a volunteer program that assigns jobs to those who are in a position to oversee communications, disaster relief, or rescue operations.
Government preparation involves analyzing data on flood risk and management. By preparing flood maps, agencies are able to determine the probable needs of specific areas and plan to meet those needs should a flood occur. Municipalities may build certain roads to a height that maintains safe transportation of goods to areas that may need the most assistance during flooding. Educating residents about the government’s flood plan is an important aspect of prevention. Such outreach ensures that citizens know what to do or where to go in the event rising, dangerous waters that may affect the area. Leaders may also instruct engineers to check the infrastructure to ensure it can withstand high tides and flood waters. Flood walls, dams, and levees are important barriers that help prevent flood waters from moving unchecked into residential neighborhoods.
Whether you’re protecting your individual family members or large groups of people, planning is an essential part of preventing the loss of lives and properties, during a flood.