Spring to Safety: Stay Safe When Spring Rains Lead to Flooding

Flood PreparednessFloods are one of the most serious and costly types of disasters in the United States, according to the National Flood Insurance Program, a division of the Federal Emergency Management Association. Though now is the time we start participating in outdoor activities and enjoying the sun, it’s also flood season. Be sure to take precautions to ensure a fun and safe spring for you and your family.

Floods can be caused by spring thaws or ice jams, extreme weather conditions such as hurricanes or tropical storms or even after a wildfire. To prepare, you should do the following, according to national guidelines:

  • Build an emergency kit
    • Enough clean water, non-perishable food and supplies to last at least 72 hours
      • Water: one gallon per person per day
      • Canned food
      • Manual can opener
      • Battery powered or hand crank radio
      • Extra batteries
      • Flashlight
      • First Aid Kit
      • Whistle to signal for assistance
      • Plastic sheeting and duct tape to create a makeshift shelter
      • Garbage bags, plastic ties and sanitation wipes for personal hygiene
      • Wrench or plier to turn off utilities (to prevent possible electrocution)
      • Cell phone with chargers or extra battery
    • This is to supplement other supplies you may have at home, and does not include:
      • Pet supplies
      • Baby supplies
      • Medications for current health conditions
  • Make a family emergency and communication plan, then practice flood evacuation routes from home, school and work
  • Get flood insurance
    • This is not usually included in home insurance
    • Even if you are in a low risk area, it might be good to purchase it. Lower risk means lower premiums.

 

If a flood is likely to hit your area, make sure you stay tuned to the radio or weather channel and move to higher ground at first notice. If you are told to evacuate, secure your home if you have time. Move essential items to higher floors and bring in outdoor furniture if possible. Turn off utilities if instructed to do so, but do not touch electrical equipment if you are wet or are standing in water. Avoid floodwaters, and do not attempt to drive in them. Cars can be swept away in as little as two feet of water.

In case an emergency situation occurs call 911 immediately. Otherwise download this this handy guide to Know When to Go to the ER, and stick it on your fridge for quick reference in the future or go to your general practitioner for assistance with non-urgent medical needs.

Related Resources:

Play it Safe: Know the Signs of a Concussion

When Should You Go to the ER?

Planning for an Emergency: The Whole First Aid Kit and Caboodle

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