Floods happen slowly, usually with lots of warning. Spring thaws and heavy rainfall from tropical storms and hurricanes are the usually the culprits. National and local news stations closely watch the progress of major storms, predicting possible ways through modeling.
The models help inform us of potential danger when a path is in line with a city or town. Everyone has a TV or smartphone and will apprehend when a flood is coming and be ready to prepare.
As much as some floods can be predictable and detoured via sandbags, they can also turn wild, especially in urban environments that aren’t ready to handle or haven’t experienced serious flooding in the past. The gulf coast, the New York/New Jersey region and, last, the Carolinas are a few unhappy examples of areas caught off guard by the extreme winds and rains that bring devastating floods. Floods turn violent and quick when dams and levees fail or an ice-jammed river suddenly dislodges. That’s when water can rise quickly without warning. These flash floods are the most dangerous since they’re less predictable.
Floods knock out power, contaminate water supplies and make roads impassable. These high water levels are also typically slow to leave. High water can linger for days if not a week or more at a time.
According to the National Weather Service, the 10-year average of deaths in the U.S. caused by floods is seventy one. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that over fifty percent of all flood-related drownings occur when a vehicle is driven into flood waters. The next highest percentage of flood-related deaths is caused by folks walking into or near flood waters. In addition to staying far from dangerous flood waters, here’s what to do once the water levels rise close to you.
In Harm’s Way
Your prep work should include putting all of your possessions above the high water mark, especially electronics and furniture. At least place everything you’ll up off the floor during a flood. Also ensure you get to high ground when authorities say to evacuate, taking with you any necessary documents you might need in the flood’s aftermath. Another issue to remember is to make arrangements for pets and neighbors in need.
Drinking water is valuable in a flood situation since private wells and public water supplies may be contaminated. Flood water will test positive for everything from fecal matter and lawn chemicals to gasoline. Ensure you have safe drinking water with you in your bug-out kit.
Make sure you have enough food for a minimum of three days. Food that doesn’t require electric power or gas to prepare will be the most helpful. Also have many batteries and flashlights on hand. During a blackout, apartment buildings can have dark hallways even during the day. A hand-crank emergency radio is also a decent plan to assist keep you informed.
Do not try to ride out the flood where you’re. Faster-moving water can make a two-story house float like a canoe until it dissolves into splintered wood and sheetrock. Staying put in the second story isn’t an choice. If you live in a high-rise building, you’ll more than likely be saved from the worst, however that doesn’t mean you’re high and dry. If you’re trying to evacuate, stay out of the subway system since only submarines will be able to navigate it. In a case where you’re slow to reply to warnings or events have caused you to delay your bug-out to higher ground, carefully think about if you’ll drive or walk through the flood water. It just takes two feet of fast-moving water to sweep away most vehicles, and only six inches of rushing water to knock you down and sweep you away. Your SUV or truck isn’t designed to travel through water, and if you chance it, your engine may stall and your SUV will be in danger of being overtaken by the water. Never drive through flood waters.
If you’re on foot, remember that debris can be hidden under the murky water. Use your feet to search for debris as you wade carefully through it. If the water is moving fast, use a roof, a tree or whatever is above the water to hang on to. A gallon of water weighs about eight pounds. The math is simple: Multiply eight pounds by many thousand gallons. Flood water will bash you into anything in the way, try to drown you, and will still do so until it slows down and finds its level.
With these tips in mind, the next time the water levels rise in your area, you’ll be able to survive. No matter how ready you’re, if officials call for evacuation, be able to leave instantly.