Floods can be some of the most devastating natural disasters. They can cause immense amounts of property damage, as well as put people’s lives in danger. Flooding is the most common natural disaster throughout the US. This means that knowing how to survive a flood is essential for anyone, let alone those who live in an area prone to flooding. Whether you’re braving a flood alone or with your family, here are some tips for surviving a flood, to keep you safe and sound during the storm.
The first and most important step in surviving a flood is preparation. Before the disaster hits, become familiar with your local flood policies and evacuation routes in case you need to leave your home. Additionally, create an emergency plan for your family that includes your local flood policy, evacuation routes and all your important documents, in a waterproof folder.
2. Stay Connected
Thanks to technological advancements, it's easier than ever to stay informed of any potential risks that may arise due to floods. For example, many cities now have access to interactive flood maps which allow residents to track areas most prone to flooding. Additionally, local governments often broadcast emergency alert messages over the radio, television or as an alert on your phone when an impending disaster is expected. By listening in on these updates and warnings, citizens can remain up-to-date on any changes or threats associated with floods.
The effects of a flood can last for days, weeks, and even months, so preparing an emergency kit is essential in order to survive. Emergency kits should include everything necessary for 72 hours during a natural disaster such as a flood.
An emergency kit should contain enough supplies for each individual in the house. The kit should include items such as nonperishable food, water, flashlights, extra batteries, a waterproof first-aid kit and any other supplies needed for survival. Hygiene items such as soap and toilet paper are also important to include in your kit. Additionally, include any important documents such as insurance cards or copies of birth certificates; these may come in handy when applying for assistance after the floods have gone.
4.Prepare your home
If there is time before the flooding begins, take steps around your home to mitigate potential damage from the water. Move furniture and other items away from windows and doors so they don’t get wet or damaged by rising water levels. Also consider putting sandbags or plastic sheeting around the outside of your house, and around entrance ways to slow down the water that might come in.
Turn off all gas lines leading into the home, as well as any outdoor gas sources. Make sure that no electricity is running in your house, unplugging any appliances or devices to ensure they’re safe from potential flooding.
Once flooding starts or if evacuation becomes necessary due to rising water levels, it’s important to act quickly but calmly. If you decide to evacuate your home, move quickly but don’t panic—you have time to safely get out of your house. Take things slowly enough to not overlook anything important like phone chargers or medications needed for medical conditions. When evacuating, make sure all members of your household are accounted for before leaving; if someone isn't able to make it out on their own, help them get out safely by enlisting assistance from neighbors or emergency services when available.
If you’re unable to evacuate your home due to sudden onset flooding or other reasons, stay inside and move upstairs, if possible. This could buy precious time while waiting out the storm, or until rescue teams arrive at your location.
If you are caught in a flood, try to get to high ground as quickly as possible. Do not attempt to cross flowing water on foot – it can be very dangerous.
6. Be Aware of Hidden Dangers
Floods can be particularly hazardous to navigate, as the water often hides many dangers. Being aware of potential risks is the key to surviving a flood in the safest way possible. With electricals, debris and animals all posing a risk, it’s important to use extreme caution during a flood.
Electrical hazards should be at the top of your mind when wading through flooded waters. Floodwaters can carry wires and electrical currents that could cause serious injury or even death if touched. It’s best to avoid these areas altogether and to keep away from any objects that may have been exposed to water or electricity.
Debris can also pose an issue during floods, as it will likely float downstream with water levels rising. This debris could contain sharp edges or nails that could cause lacerations if not handled properly.
Floodwaters can cause wild animals to disperse from their habitats, seeking higher ground or drier areas for refuge. This displacement can bring them into contact with humans, leading to increased risk of injury or attack from native wildlife such as deer or snakes; however it also presents an opportunity for more domesticated animals like cats and dogs to become trapped in the rising waters if they do not have access to safe escape routes.
7.Avoid Contact With Floodwater
One of the most important things to remember about surviving a flood is to avoid contact with floodwater. Floodwaters can contain contaminants, such as sewage, gasoline or other hazardous materials, that pose serious health risks if ingested or touched. Therefore, it is essential to protect yourself by wearing protective gear and gloves when dealing with flooded areas.
It's also important to use caution when drinking water during or after a flood event since drinking contaminated water can lead to serious illnesses like cholera and typhoid fever in humans. Boiling water for at least one minute before consumption will help destroy bacteria and other microorganisms that may be present in the water supply due to contamination from flooding activities.
Survivor Filter’s portable water filters are a great tool to have in your emergency kit or somewhere easily accessible in your home. The Survivor Filter straw is compact and easy to keep in a backpack or a draw, ready to reach for.
In addition to avoiding contact with floodwater, it's important to protect your food from contamination as well. Discard any food products that have come into contact with floodwaters as these items may no longer be safe for consumption. Don’t risk consuming food stored in below-ground locations during a flood either—it might not be safe to eat.
Finally, stay safe and remain vigilant at all times! Floods can be unpredictable and move quickly, so always take precautionary measures before venturing out into flooded areas. With these safety tips in mind, you should be prepared!