The weather can sometimes be harsh, and heavy rainfall caused by typhoons and hurricanes can cause devastating floods. If you’re staying in lowland areas, you may likely experience flooding, especially during heavy rains. Floods have affected thousands of people anywhere in the world and have caused a lot of property damages.

Weather forecasts usually give a good information warning about how damaging a storm or a hurricane can be. All levels of the government are doing their best to minimize the impact of floods. All of us should also take responsibility to protect ourselves, and our families from the dangers a flash flood can bring.

As a responsible citizen, what should you do during a flood emergency?

Awareness and preparedness can help put you in a safe position during emergencies. If you prepare in advance, you can considerably reduce the impact of a flash flood. This makes you and your family safe and secure when disasters like this arise unexpectedly.

Helpful tips on flood preparedness and emergency:

  1. Find out what you have to do before, during, and after a flood. It would be best if you make a printed list so that everybody in the house will be informed.
  2. Once you have printed your guide on what to do before, during, and after a flood emergency, make a family emergency plan for floods. It’s best to plan it together with your family so that everyone will share their ideas. Careful planning will ensure everyone’s safety and security. Everyone will also know what to do and where to go when a flood emergency occurs.
  3. Always prepare your flood emergency bag. Make sure you stock item which can suffice your family. It’s best that you keep emergency food and kits that can last for at least 72 hours.
  4. After you come up with a family emergency plan, print and keep the emergency plan and the guide in a visible spot around your house so that they can easily be found.

Risk Assessment

You should try to recognize the possible risks that may happen in your household and your neighborhood if ever a flood occurs. This will help you get proper evacuation plans when needed. Note the hazards and risks that need attention and put an action to prevent the dangers that might happen if left ignored.

What should you do if there’s a flood forecast in your area?

  • Secure all electrical appliances, outlets, and wirings. Make sure that you take special precautions to safeguard anything that might cause electrocution or fire.
  • You can shut off the electricity before the flooding happens inside your house. Make sure you’re completely dry, as well as the main switch and the fuse box. This will prevent you from electrocution and possible fire.
  • Keep a flashlight with you. It might become too dark after you’ve shut off the electricity.

What should you do BEFORE a flood occurs?

You can minimize flood damages by doing the following:

  • Keep important documents sealed inside a waterproof bag and keep them at a high place in your house. Don’t store them near the ground or in the basement.
  • Check for any cracks, holes, or openings around your house. On your basement windows, roof tiles/sheets, and base of ground-level doors, you should apply a weather protection sealant.
  • Keep sandbags and polyethylene barriers. Install a drainage for downspouts at a sufficient distance from your home. Doing this can help keep the flood water away from your house.
  • It helps a lot that you install a sump pump and zero reverse flow valves in basement floor drains.

What should you do if flooding is at hand and unavoidable?

  • Prioritize electrical appliances. Move them to a higher level from the ground. Do this to all other items in your house. Don’t attempt
  • Remove substances that can cause harm to you and your environments, such as pesticides and strong chemicals used for cleaning. These toxic materials can cause pollution and health problems, so keep them away from the flood area.
  • If you haven’t shut off electricity when flooding has occurred, NEVER try to shut it off! Remember that water is a terrible conductor of electricity. It’s best that you and your family must evacuate your house immediately. Only return to your premises when the authorities indicate that it’s safe to do so.

What should you do DURING a flood?

  • You should keep the necessary items at hand, such as your emergency bag, clothes, documents in waterproof packs, container, and bags or suitcases with wheels.
  • Be updated with the weather forecast by listening to the radio or watching the news to find out what which areas are affected. You can also know which roads are safe and passable, and know the local emergency team/government updates and warnings. They can also inform you when you must evacuate your area.

What should you do if you NEED to EVACUATE?

  • When the local emergency team announces that you must vacate your area, you must do it. Never ignore the warning so you won’t jeopardize the safety of you and your family. Not following their instructions can also hassle those who have to come to your rescue.
  • Everybody must be in your planned assembly area. Make sure everybody is all geared up. Bring your emergency bag, and leave the premises immediately.
  • Your local emergency team will give you safe escape routes. You must follow these directions and never attempt to take shortcuts.
  • Securely keep your pets in high areas and make evacuation arrangements for them.
  • Never attempt to cross a flooded area!

–  The current of the flood water could make you lose your balance and sweep you away.
– Driving through flood waters can ruin your vehicle engine, and you might get stuck and be swept away by the fast flood water.
– If the flood is flowing fast and the water level is high, never attempt to cross bridges. The water might destroy the bridge while you’re passing through it.

What should you do AFTER a flood?

  • Wait for the announcement of the local authorities or the emergency team if it’s safe to return to your home.
  • Be extremely cautious when going back to your home after a flood. There might be debris that might harm you.
  • Be mindful of all electrical wirings and appliances. If you didn’t shut off the electricity before the flooding occurred, tell the authorities. A qualified electrician can go and check all the electrical equipment and wirings. Only enter your house after it’s confirmed safe by the electrician.
  • Never attempt to use electricity and appliances until they’re completely dry, cleaned, and inspected by a qualified electrician.
  • Check your house if it’s structurally safe. Look for cracks, leaks, and holes in the floor, walls, and ceiling. Watch out for broken glasses and sharp debris.
  • It’s best not to be in contact with flood water. It can be contaminated with sewage and other harmful substances that can cause sickness and deadly infections.
  • Do NOT attempt to use tap water. Wait until the authorities have announced that they’re safe to use.
  • Damaged items in the house may need to be discarded according to local rules and regulations.
  • It’s best that you keep record details of the damages done by the flood. Taking photographs or videos around your house and neighborhood is the best thing to do if it’s possible. These are considered pieces of evidence and can be very useful when processing insurance claims and local government aids.

These are our helpful guide on what you should do during a flood emergency. Awareness and preparedness is always the best solution to keep you and your family safe, not only during a flood, but in all unexpected emergencies.

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