Flood readiness: Getting ready for a possible flood.
Here are some basic steps to take to prepare well in advance for a possible flood:
- Risk to the House -- Contact the local county geologist or county planning department to find out if your home is located in a flash-flood-prone area (or landslide-prone area).
- Emergency Plan -- Learn about your community's emergency plans, warning signals, evacuation routes, and locations of emergency shelters.
- Rehearsing Evacuation -- Plan and practice a flood evacuation route with your family.
- A Contact Person -- Ask an out-of-state relative or friend to be the "family contact" in case your family is separated during a flood. Make sure everyone in your family knows the name, address, and phone number of this contact person.
- Posting Emergency Numbers -- Post emergency phone numbers at every phone.
- Special Needs Persons -- Inform local authorities about any special needs such as elderly or bedridden people, or anyone with a disability.
- Home Hazards -- Identify potential home hazards and know how to secure or protect them before the flood strikes.
- Be prepared to turn off electrical power when there is standing water, fallen power lines, or before you evacuation.
- Turn off gas and water supplies before you evacuate.
- Secure structurally unstable building materials.
- Fire Extinguisher -- Buy a fire extinguisher and make sure your family knows where it is and how to use it.
- Sump Pump -- Buy and install sump pumps with back-up power.
- Electrician -- Have a licensed electrician raise electric components (switches, sockets, circuit breakers and wiring) at least 12" above your home's projected flood elevation.
- Plumber -- For drains, toilets, and other sewer connections, install backflow valves or plugs to prevent floodwaters from entering.
- Anchor Fuel Tanks -- Anchor fuel tanks which can contaminate your basement if torn free. An unanchored tank outside can be swept downstream and damage other houses.
These recommendations are based on those of the CDC (the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).
See also: Flood warning; Flood supplies kit.
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