FLOOD: Important Survival Guidelines

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A flood is a large overflow of water beyond its normal boundary that covers normally dry areas. Flooding occurs annually across the globe resulting in loss of lives and property worth billions. Proactive steps can be taken now to reduce the danger and damage posed by flooding. The following points will guide you on what to do before, during an after flooding.

Survival Tips for Before Flooding Occurs

  1. Prepare your home before hand.
  2. Modifications to the home can be done to reduce the damage caused by flooding.
  3. Avoid building new homes in floodplains. If the building is situated in a floodplain, it must be elevated and reinforced.
  4. Construct barriers (e.g., beams, floodwalls, etc.) to stop waters from entering your home.
  5. Research and know the areas prone to flooding in your area.
  6. Seal basement walls with waterproofing material.
  7. Make sure gutters and drains are always clear.
  8. Be sure to elevate electrical panels, switches, sockets, furnaces, fuel tanks, etc. if the area is susceptible to flooding.
  9. Note that flood losses are not normally covered under homeowner’s insurance polices, so have proper flood insurance for your home or business. Flood insurance is available from most local insurance agents.
  10. Educate yourself on the  common dangers and how to avoid them.
  11. Install applications on your mobile device, they have comprehensive resource that can be studied at any time that is convenient. They are available on both iOS and Android.
  12. Be up to date with weather forecast for your area so that you will be informed in the event of an emergency.
  13. Have the necessary items ready before hand such has emergency kit for your home, A 72-hour bag (colloquially known as a “bug out bag”) and related items for your vehicle.
  14. If forced to evacuate, be quick and take important documents with you (when possible).
Survival Tips During Flooding

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  1. There are steps that can be taken shortly before and during a flooding event that will greatly reduce the risk to life and reduce damage to a home.
  2. Listen to radio, television, or Internet news reports for information of weather that could result in flooding.
  3. In the event of the warning of flash flooding, evacuate the area immediately and head for high ground. Flash floods can develop and occur very rapidly, so waste no time.
  4. Should you be instructed to do so by emergency officials, turn off main utilities and valves.
  5. Do not attempt to operate or even touch electrical equipment that is in water.
  6. Avoid any contact with flood water. The water may be contaminated with raw sewage, petrochemicals (e.g., oil, gasoline, diesel fuel, etc.), and harmful microbes.
  7. Be mindful of children as they may attempt to play in flood waters.
  8. Do not walk through moving water. As little as six inches of moving water can make a person fall. Two feet of rushing water can move a vehicle such as a car or light truck.
  9. If a mandatory evacuation order is issued and it is safe to go, do so without delay.
Survival Tips After Flooding

Image result for flooding pictures on getty images

  1. After a flood has occurred, there are important steps to take in recovery in addition to the steps outlined in the previous section.
  2. Only return home or to your place of business when authorities have stated it is safe to do so.
  3. If the power is still out, only use flashlights when entering your home or business as flammable material may be present.
  4. Continue to monitor the radio and other media sources for updates.
  5. Stay out of any structures still surrounded by flood waters.
  6. Note that damaged sewage and septic systems are very dangerous to human life. They should be repaired as soon as possible.
  7. Stay clear of downed power lines and report any to the electrical company or cooperative.
  8. Thoroughly clean and disinfect any article that came in contact with flood water. Discard articles that cannot be properly cleaned.
  9. Do not consume any food, beverage, or tobacco product that came in contact with flood waters as they are likely contaminated.
  10. If absolutely necessary, drinking water may be made safe by boiling and filtering.
While floods are a daunting challenge, with the right preparations and know how, one can protect their life and property.


Public Safety Canada: Floods. (2014, March 4). Retrieved February 19, 2015, from https://www.publicsafety.gc.ca/cnt/mrgnc-mngmnt/ntrl-hzrds/fld-eng.aspx
Protecting Your Home and Property from Flood Damage: Mitigation Ideas for Reducing Flood Loss. (2010). United States: U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency.
NOAA’s National Weather Service. (n.d.). Retrieved February 19, 2015, from http://www.nws.noaa.gov/hic/
6 Ways To Protect Your Home From Flooding | Bankrate.com. (n.d.). Retrieved February 20, 2015, from http://www.bankrate.com/finance/weather/natural-disasters/6-ways-protect-home-flooding.aspx
Missouri State Emergency Management Agency. (n.d.). Retrieved February 20, 2015, from http://sema.dps.mo.gov/plan_and_prepare/flooding.asp
Floods. (n.d.). Retrieved February 21, 2015, from http://www.floridadisaster.org/EMTOOLS/Severe/floods.htm
My Hazards Awareness Map. (n.d.). Retrieved February 21, 2015, from http://myhazards.calema.ca.gov/
Flood Survival Tips: Knowing the Facts

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