ARE YOU PREPARED?
UNDERSTANDING FLOOD & FLASH FLOODS:
- Flood Watch:
Flooding or flash flooding is possible in your area.
- Flood Warning:
Flooding or flash flooding is already occurring or will occur soon in your area.
Floods are among the most frequent and costly natural disasters. Conditions that cause floods include heavy or steady rain for several hours or days that saturate the ground. Flash floods occur suddenly due to rapidly rising water along a stream or low-lying area. Never try to walk, or drive through swift water! Swiftly moving water, even six inches deep can sweep you off your feet. A car can easily be carried away by just two feet of floodwater.
What to Do During a Flood WATCH:
- Listen to local weather radio stations.
- Be ready to respond and act immediately.
- Be alert to signs of flooding.
- Follow the instructions and advice of local authorities.
What to Do During a Flood WARNING:
- Listen to local weather radio stations.
- Be alert of signs of flooding.
- If you live in a flood-prone area, evacuate if safe to do so or at the instructions of authorities.
- Follow recommended evacuation routes.
- Leave early enough to avoid being marooned by flooded roads.
IF YOU ARE AT RISK FROM FLOODS:
- Talk to your insurance agent. Homeowners' policies do not cover flooding.
- Use a NOAA Weather Radio with a tone-alert feature, or a portable, battery- powered radio (or television) for updated emergency information.
- Develop an evacuation plan & discuss plan with your family members.
AFTER RETURNING HOME:
- Return home only when authorities indicate it is safe.
- If your home is damaged, approach entrances carefully.
- If you smell natural or propane gas or hear a hissing noise, leave immediately and call the fire department.
- If power lines are down outside your home, do not step in puddles or standing water.
- Keep children and pets away from hazardous sites and floodwater.
- Throw away food that has come in contact with flood waters.
- Food contaminated by flood waters can cause severe infections.
- Contact your local or state public health department for specific recommendations for boiling or treating water in your area after a disaster as water may be contaminated.
- Wells inundated by flood waters should be pumped out and the water tested for purity before drinking.
- Pump out flooded basements gradually (about one-third of the water per day) to avoid structural damage.
- Service damaged septic tanks, cesspools, pits, and leaching systems as soon as possible.
SHELTER IN PLACE:
The safest place for your family is some-where that is not threatened by a flood. If your home is safe, but the area around you is not, you may need to shelter in place. Here is a list of supplies you may want to consider. Remember to plan for each member of your family, including pets.
Water—at least a 3day supply; one gallon per person per day
Food—at least a 3day supply of nonperishable, easytoprepare food
Battery powered or hand crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible)
First aid kit
Medications (7day supply) and medical items (hearing aids with extra batteries, glasses, contact lenses, syringes, cane)
Sanitation and personal hygiene items
Copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, deed/lease to home, birth certificates, insurance policies)
Cell phone with chargers
Family and emergency contact information
Map(s) of the area
Baby supplies (bottles, formula, baby food, diapers)
Pet supplies (collar, leash, ID, food, carrier, bowl)
Tools/supplies for securing your home
Extra set of car keys and house keys
Extra clothing, hat and sturdy shoes
Insect repellent and sunscreen
Camera for photos of damage
Talk to your family about potential disasters and the necessity to be prepared for them. Involve each member of your family in the planning process. Simple steps can increase their safety and reduce anxiety about emergencies. Take into account the special needs of children, seniors, or people with disabilities. Decide where your family will go in case you are evacuated or you decide to leave on your own. Before you leave, notify someone that you are leaving and what route you will be taking. Take your pets, or make arrangements for them before you go. When you leave, lock your home and shut off gas/propane, and notify local authorities so they know you are gone and how they may reach you if necessary. When you arrive at your designation let your friends/family know you arrived safely.
72 HOUR PREPAREDNESS
The very basic level of preparedness is planning for 72-hours. Keep enough supplies on hand that you and each member of your family can survive on for three days. Disasters do not have to be something dramatic. It can be being snowed in for a few days or simply having no utilities to your home can be a life threatening situation.
What to put in a kit:
Here are some simple steps you can take to get prepared in case of emergency or natural disaster.
First, choose a container that can withstand damages and one you can seal shut. Backpacks are a good choice for each member of the family that contains clothing and personnel items just for each member.
Store food items that are familiar to your family rather than buying special emergency food items. Consider any dietary restrictions and preferences you may have. Ideal foods are: Shelf-stable (no refrigeration required), low in salt, and do not require cooking (e.g. canned fruit, vegetables, peanut butter, jam, low-salt crackers, cookies, cereals, nuts, dried fruit, canned soup or meats, juices and non-fat dry milk). Mark a rotation date on any food container that does not already have an expiration date on the package. Include baby food and formula or other diet items for infants or seniors. Store the food in airtight, pest-resistant containers in a cool, dark place. Most canned foods can safely be stored for at least 18 months. Low acid foods like meat products, fruits or vegetables will normally last at least 2 years. Use dry products, like boxed cereal, crackers, cookies, dried milk or dried fruit within six months.
After a power outage, refrigerated food will stay cold longer if you keep the door closed. Food should generally be consumed within 4 hours. Food in the freezer will normally remain safe for 2 days.
Go-bags should be made for each member of the family. Keep them in a place that has been identified so everyone will know where they are. You may not be at home when a disaster strikes, so it is important to keep a go-bag in your car with what you would need just for immediate safety. Keep your items seasonal, so you are prepared for the weather.
Ideas for a go-bag:
- Radio – battery operated
- Pocket knife
- Sturdy shoes, a change of clothes, and a warm hat
- Some water and food
- List of emergency point-of -contact phone numbers
- List of allergies to any drug (especially antibiotics) or food
- Copy of health insurance and identification cards
- Extra prescription eye glasses, hearing aid or other vital personal items
- Prescription medications and first aid supplies
- Toothbrush and toothpaste
- Extra keys to your house and vehicle
- Any special-needs items for children, seniors or people with disabilities. Don’t forget to make a Go-bag for your pets.