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How to prepare for flooding

Flooding is the most common disaster in the world. Flooding accounts for 43% of all recorded events. Not only is it the most frequent calamity, but it is also the most costly natural disaster. Frequent severe weather can cause flooding that threatens people and property. Not only high-risk flood areas are at risk. About 25% of flood insurance claims come from moderate to low-risk areas. In the past 20 years, flooding is by far the most common natural disaster.

You may think that you will never experience a flood, but even deserts get flash floods. Your risk for a flood depends on where you live. It is always better to prepare for any emergency or disaster, including floods. Half of all deaths during a flood are vehicle-related.

FEMA outlines the steps you should take to prepare for a flood.

What to do to prepare for a flood

  • Sign up for local emergency alerts - The warning system saves lives.

  • Know your flood risk. Look up your address in the Flood Map Service Center to learn if you live, work, or travel in areas that are prone to flooding.

  • Get flood insurance. Most homeowners insurance does not cover flood damage.

  • Teach the whole family what to do during a flood to keep them safe and discuss what each person should do if you must evacuate according to their ability

  • Make a flood emergency plan and be aware of local emergency plans.

  • Practice the emergency plan so the whole family is prepared and feel empowered

  • Prepare a grab and go disaster supply kit for your home.

  • Plan where family members should meet and how to get to higher ground as well as where to go for emergency shelter

  • Take a household inventory and build or restock your emergency preparedness kits for each person.

  • Seal basement walls and seal vents to prevent water seepage

  • Store important documents in waterproof containers and keep a copy in the cloud

Here are steps to take if you are aware that flooding is imminent:

  • Stay tuned to radio or other resources for local emergency instructions

  • Turn off utilities

  • Be prepared to evacuate

  • If you have time, move furniture and other valuables to the upper floors.

  • If water surrounds your car, get out as quick as possible and climb to higher ground

  • Don’t drive around barricades - turn around and go another way

How can kids prepare for a flood?

Floods kill more people and cause more damage than other severe weather-related events. Just six inches of water can knock a person off their feet. Children may become separated from their families because of bad weather, broken dams, thawing snow, and flash flooding at home, school, or other places. They need to be aware of how to protect themselves in case of flooding.

Children can prepare themselves for floods by doing the following:

  • Be alert and monitor your surroundings.

  • Learn about floods and what causes them.

  • Be aware of flood safety tips before a flood, during a flood, and after a flood.

  • Stay away from dirty water because it carries bacteria and can cause electric shock.

  • Learn how to run to higher ground or get to a safe shelter

  • Remember the saying - turn around, don’t drown.

  • Have a contact list with names, address, and phone numbers in case they are away from home

  • Understand that they should not cross flowing streams

  • Your priority should be taking care of yourself first.

  • If you have time, plan how to care for pets during a flood.

What are three things you can do to survive during a flood?

  • Move to higher ground

  • Do not drive in flood areas. Vehicles can quickly sweep away

  • Avoid downed power lines

After a flood:

  • Seek medical help if necessary

  • Boil water for 10 minutes to be safe

  • When it is safe to return to your home, do not visit disaster areas as you will hamper rescue operations

  • Check for electrical system damage.

  • Be cautious when entering buildings

  • Examine walls, floors, doors, ceilings for rich of collapsing

  • Take pictures of the damage

  • Get professional help to service damaged sewage systems, pump out basements, check the electrical system

Weather is unpredictable and may cause flash flooding in your area. By following the above guidelines, you and your family will be more likely to survive and have less damage to your property. The best time to prepare is before the flood comes.

Want to keep your family together in a flood? Check out the R72 Grab&Go Vest features, which also includes a shoulder strap that also allows families to clip themselves together.

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