Floods | What to know and what to do.

Floods | What to know and what to do.

Monday 17th February 2020
Lewis Fletcher

As of the 15th February 2020, Storm Dennis has been making the headlines, causing waterways to burst their banks, resulting in severe floods and damage.

In this article we are going to be discussing how to stay safe if you have been affected by a flood and what to do.

What is a flood?
A flood is a temporary overflowing of water onto an area of land that is normally dry. A flood is one of the most common forms of natural disaster.

Types of flood
Floods can be the result of several different factors such as:
- The result of rain, snow or storm surges causing dams and other water sources to overflow.
- Slowly developing floods or flash floods. Flash floods can come with no warning.

In the event of a flood
- Immediately find shelter.
- Do not walk drive or swim through flood water. Follow the motto "Turn Around, Don't Drown!"
- Stay off bridges that span over fast-moving water.
- Determine how you should best protect yourself based on the type of flooding.
- If you are told to evacuate then do so.
- Move to either a higher ground or a higher floor.
- If you are relatively safe then stay where you are. Don't put yourself at risk.

If there is a threat of a flood you can stay safe by...
- Thoroughly preparing yourself
- Knowing the types of flood risk in your area. Visit FEMA's Flood Map Service Center for information.
- Sign up for your community's warning system. The Emergency Alert System (EAS)
- If flash flooding is a risk in your location, then monitor potential signs, such as heavy rain.
- Learning and practice evacuation routes, shelter plans, and flash flood response.
- Gathering supplies in case you have to leave immediately, or if services are cut off. Keep in mind each person's specific needs, including medication. Don't forget the needs of pets. Obtain extra batteries and charging devices for phones and other critical equipment.
- Purchasing or renewing a flood insurance policy. It typically takes up to 30 days for a policy to go into effect and can protect the life you've built. Homeowner's policies do not cover flooding. Get flood coverage under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)
- Keeping important documents in a waterproof container. Create password-protected digital copies.
- Protecting your property. Move valuables to higher levels. Declutter drains and gutters. Install check valves. Consider a sump pump with a battery.

Key tips for surviving during a flood
- Go to the safe location that you identified previously.
- If you have been told to evacuate you must do so immediately. You must never drive around barricades as they are used to safely direct traffic out of flooded areas.
- If your vehicle becomes trapped in rapidly moving water, then stay inside. If water is rising inside the vehicle, then seek refuge on the roof.
- If you are trapped in a building, then go to its highest level. Do not climb into a closed attic. You may become trapped by rising floodwater. Go on the roof only if necessary. Once there, signal for help.

How to be safe after a flood
- Listen to the authorities for information and instructions. You should only return home when authorities have said it is safe.
- Avoid driving, except in emergencies.
- Be aware of the risk of electrocution. Do not touch electrical equipment if it is wet or if you are standing in water. If it is safe to do so, turn off the electricity to prevent electric shock.
- You should avoid wading in floodwater, which can contain dangerous debris and be contaminated.
- Any underground or downed power lines can also electrically charge the water.
- Use a generator or other gasoline-powered machinery ONLY outdoors and away from windows.

We hope that this article helped you and if you require any further information or assistance get in touch with your local council.

Stay safe!