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Staying Safe during Flooding
By the RestorationSOS Educational Staff
Flood preparation is important because it cuts down on the level of damage inflicted upon your home or business, and the proper steps can minimize the risk of injury to you and your family. However, there is always the risk of getting caught in the middle of a flooding situation where it is too late to evacuate or make other preparations. Is it possible to ride out a flood and come through okay?
Well, riding out a flood is never recommended, but if there is no other course of action, then the best you can do is take every appropriate measure to remain as safe as possible, not take any unnecessary risks, and do what you can to preserve your life.
What to do if You are Caught in a Flood - Indoors
If caught indoors during a flood, have a battery operated radio or television available. This will allow you to keep track of rapidly changing weather conditions.
Have emergency supplies on hand and make use of them during the period of bad weather. If flooding is occurring and threatening your home, and you are unable to leave, move to the highest level in your home to try to remain above the flood waters.
What to do if You are Caught in a Flood - Outdoors
If you are caught outdoors, get to the highest possible ground or area you can find. Do not attempt to walk through any floodwaters and certainly make no attempt to swim through them. It only takes six inches of moving water to knock a person down and rapidly flowing waters could sweep you away in a matter of seconds. People die every year by making this common mistake.
If you are in a car, the same rules apply. Avoid flood waters. Turn around and go the other way. Water is deceptive, and what may look like a shallow stream crossing the road may effectively mask the fact that the road is no longer there. Again, people die every year by becoming trapped in vehicles that are swept away by fast moving water. If your car stalls, abandon it immediately and seek higher ground.
If the evacuation order comes down and you are able to move, then do so immediately. Your evacuation route should have already been planned out so that you know where you are going. Resist the urge to take short cuts, even if it seems like the right thing to do. If enough people have the same idea, you could find yourself backed up in traffic or even lost.