Preparation for a Flooding Emergency: Step 4: Pre-interventions

Three Key Steps in Pre-intervention Planning

 1.    Install flood mitigation measures in and around your property.

2.    Plan a safe retreat and have a meeting place

3.    Go over emergency plan and evacuation route

It is important to reduce the risk of damage to structures from flooding by elevating critical utilities, such as electrical panels, switches, sockets, wiring, appliances, and heating systems, and waterproofing basements. Secure the property. Tie down or bring outdoor equipment and lawn furniture inside. Make sure that basements are waterproofed and that your sump pump is working. Install a battery-operated backup in case of a power failure (FEMA, 2017).

Be aware of streams, drainage channels, canyons and other areas known to flood suddenly. Flash floods can occur in these areas with or without such typical warning signs as rain clouds or heavy rain. If instructed, turn off utilities at the main switches or valves. Disconnect electrical appliances. Do not touch electrical equipment if you are wet or standing in water. Fill the bathtub with water in case water becomes contaminated or unavailable. Before filling, sterilize the tub with a diluted bleach solution. Do not walk through moving water (FEMA, 2017).

Review your homeowners or renters insurance policy and update a list of your home’s contents by taking pictures or videotaping each room in the house. Keep papers in a fireproof and waterproof box. If records are stored electronically, keep a backup drive in your fireproof, waterproof box, or store files using a secure cloud-based service (FEMA, 2017).

If the danger is significant, local authorities may issue an evacuation notice to alert residents that flooding will be or is occurring. Evacuation orders vary by state and community, and may range from voluntary to mandatory. When authorities issue a mandatory evacuation notice, leave the area immediately. Don't drive through a flooded area. If you come upon a flooded road, turn around and go another way. More people drown in their cars than anywhere else. If your car stalls, abandon it immediately and climb to higher ground (FEMA, 2017).

If the waters start to rise inside of your house before you have evacuated, retreat to the second floor, the attic, and if necessary, the roof. Don't try to swim to safety; wait for rescuers to come to you. Below you will find an emergency supply list. 

Emergency Supply List: 

*     Water: one gallon per person, per day

*      (3-day supply for evacuation, 2-week supply for home)

*     Food: non-perishable, easy-to-prepare items (3-day supply for evacuation, 2-week supply for home)

*     Manual can opener for food

*     Battery-powered or hand-crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio plus extra batteries)

*     Sanitation and personal hygiene items

*     Copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates, insurance policies

*     Drivers license or form of identification

*     Milk, baby food, sterilized bottles and spoons, nipples, spare clothing, diapers and favorite toy.

*     Family and Emergency Contact Information 

*     Waterproof clothing (including rubber gloves, rubber boots)

*     Towels 

*     Flashlight

*     One blanket or sleeping bag per person

*     Medical supplies (hearing aids with extra batteries, glasses, contact lenses

*     Cell phone and charger

*     Pet supplies (collar, leash, ID, food, carrier, bowl)

*     Extra set of car keys and house keys

*     Matches 

*     3 days of extra clothing, hat, and sturdy shoes

*     CASH in small bills ($1, $5, $10)

(FEMA, 2017)

For more information, visit www.floodriskamerica.com or visit the FEMA website.