The householders guidebook to tackling a flood before it arrives
Floods can be caused by high winds and heavy storms, even in areas that are not accustomed to witness such events. The weather conditions have undergone a drastic change so much so that areas which used to remain unflooded are now experiencing huge rainfall. Due to this extreme and unpredictable weather conditions, one should be prepared for any natural emergency or disaster such as floods.
Being a natural calamity flooding is highly unpredictable but there are many options to prevent your homes from getting damaged by a flood.
The primary need is to make sure that water cannot get into your home.
If severe rains or storms are expected to reach your area, cover your doors and windows with wood, sheets of metal, or sandbags, particularly if you reside in an area that is prone to flooding. A silicone sealant is a good water-proofing material that will keep your house free from water logs. Measures such as these will not last for days, but may shore up your house against a short-term flood and help to keep possessions dry.
Take care to ensure that your utilities are turned off.
It is always important to shut down the mains utilities like gas, power, water etc. Importantly, switching off the power running to appliances must not be forgotten. Water entry into homes often rises several feet but this will mean that the second floor is dry and any items you have stored there will not be impacted.
Stay alert when it comes to your appliances or furniture.
Make sure that these appliances or furniture are moved upstairs, since you cannot afford to buy them again without a large insurance claim.
In case you do not have a higher area in your home, you can always use bricks or blocks to make one. Be sure to remove carpets, curtains and even internal doors.
Store them all in high places to ensure that they are protected from water.
Important papers, pictures and other personal items should also be placed on higher grounds, particularly on the second floor of your house. Use water proof containers like those used for food storage for storing important things. In case of non availability of waterproof containers use sealed plastic bags or refuse sacks to safeguard important documents against water.
Ensure that all garden and garage tools and other outdoor equipment are firmly secured. The rising flood waters can lift such unsecured objects and cause harm to others. Items which are expensive and can easily float away in water should be kept in a closed place like a garage. Floods do not spare even heavy items like wheelbarrows as they could float away in water if left carelessly, however, garden implements can be kept safe and away from flood water when kept in garage or shed.
Listen carefully for flood warnings, there some steps you need to take on hearing such an announcement.
Information is crucial during situations like these.
So stay tuned to the radio for the latest news and warnings. Be supportive of the emergency crews and local authorities, give them all your cooperation. If you are ordered to evacuate, you should follow them immediately to avoid putting yourself and those around you in danger.
All of your immediate tasks should be performed during the day, as it is very likely that electricity will become unavailable. Doing things in the dark is not only tough but also dangerous. Acquire appropriate batteries for your torches and know their location in the house.
Do not keep the information that you receive to yourself, spread the word especially to the old people.
Do not try to go out of your house until and unless you are asked to. This is to ensure your safety as the flood water could be dangerous. You must be aware of the fact that rapidly flowing water above six inches can easily carry off an adult while above two feet can float away your car.
Be sure to safeguard your pets and cars in secure places. Climb up and stay on the second floor of your house if a flood warning has been issued in your area. Various objects might float in the floodwater so avoid swimming as it could be dangerous. There are chances of getting swept away or collisions with objects present in the water.
Besides, floodwater may be filthy and polluted with sewage, try to prevent any contact to avoid future infection. It would be a shame that you survived the flooding, but fell ill because of contaminated water. The frontlines of waterbodies, such as bridges, riverbanks and sea barriers are the most risky places in a flood, so just stay away from such locations. You might have heard of many incidences of floodwater having destroyed and collapsed defenses and bridges , so don’t make yourself a victim.
David is the author of Blocked Drain, a web site which contains articles and information on managing flooding problems. http://www.blocked-drains.org Please visit for more ideas on how to fix your drains issues.