Floods occur all over the world as a result of extreme weather. Though natural disasters such as hurricanes and typhoons are often responsible for floods, even heavy rains are capable of causing floods. Depending on where you live, you may be more susceptible to flooding.
As a general rule of thumb, if you live below the water level, you’re at a higher risk of being affected by a flood. If you live near an ocean or bay, you’re also much more susceptible to flood damage than someone who lives further inland.
When preparing for a flood, you should have two main priorities – your health and safety and the protection of your belongings, namely your home. Below are some tips on how to prepare to protect yourself and your belongings from a flood, but you should always put your safety and that of your family before that of anything you own! Worst case scenario, you can evacuate and rebuild in the future.
Be Aware of the Weather
Your first step to prepare for a flood is to know what’s going on with the weather. If there’s a hurricane coming near you, when is it going to hit? How big is the storm surge expected to be? If there’s a heavy rainstorm, how long is it expected to last?
How many inches of water is expected to accumulate? To be best prepared, you need to be constantly aware of what’s going on around you. Keep the weather channel on your TV and make sure you have a battery-operated radio around in case the power goes out.
There are some necessary supplies you’ll need in the event of any weather emergency, and some more that are specific to a flood. For starters, you should have several battery-operated flashlights and candles. Being able to see is essential if your power goes out.
You should also have extra blankets, a battery-operated radio, rain gear, and warm sleeping gear. If you’re inside your home, you may have a lot of these things already. You’ll also need to have several days worth of food. This means non-perishable items like canned foods – tuna fish, beans, and canned vegetables are a great place to start. Assume that there will be no way to refrigerate or cook food and build up a stockpile based around that assumption.
Riding out the Storm
Many people choose to “ride out the storm” in their homes instead of evacuating to safer ground. It’s difficult for many people to abandon their homes and family, and that can be understood. But beware, by sticking around, you’re putting yourself in harm’s way. Nonetheless, if you decide to ride out the storm, make sure you have all your emergency supplies in order.
Next, draft up an emergency evacuation plan and let others outside of the flood zone know that you’ll be riding out the storm. In the event of a real emergency, people will know where to find you; if you have an evacuation plan in place, you’ll be better prepared to get out of harm’s way even after the flooding is taking place.
Flood Proofing Your Home
It’s possible to keep the water from reaching your home if it only gets up to certain levels. Even a few inches of rain seeping into your home or basement can cause irreparable damage, so being prepared to stop this wall of water can go a long way.
— AXA UK (@AXAUK) February 3, 2017
One of the best ways to keep the water out is to form a wall of sandbags. Pile them in front of your garage or the lowest level of your home that the water will seep into first. Put up as many as possible in the hopes that you will form a waterproof barricade to keep the water from leaking inside.
Moving your Vehicles
The water levels only need to get up to a foot or so to start to leak inside your vehicle. If you want to save the hassle of cleaning out your car or filing an insurance claim, your best bet is to move your vehicle(s) to a higher ground that will be less affected by the flood.
This is especially important for older cars that are not nearly as waterproof as newer models. Flood leaves out a lot of rubbish in our lawns, read our article to get rid of this rubbish easily.