Flood preparedness begins by assessing the risk factor for your area. As a normal standard, if your area is one that has the potential for flooding, the local authorities will usually give advisory warnings on communities most likely affected and what you should do to protect your home and property. It may even call for an evacuation. It will be imperative that you keep up to date with any and all directives as they may include the safest evacuation routes, places to be avoided and community shelters where you and your family can ride out the duration of the flood event.
It may be that you will be given enough advance warning so as to gather the members of your family together. However, from time to time things happen so quickly that this is not a guaranteed situation. So begin by putting an emergency plan into action that every family member can understand and follow.
For safety procedures it will be important to know how to turn off electrical and natural gas sources in the home. Next, you will want to have emergency kits easily accessible and ready to go. Have a simple plan for any pets and livestock that need to be evacuated as well. Set up a specific and safe meeting place that everyone can reach that is outside of the affected area. In today's high tech world it is common for most families to carry cell phones. This is helpful in co-ordinating where every member of the family is, but nonetheless, it can be beneficial to select an out-of-state or province emergency contact number where family can check in and if need be receive any updates on what may be happening with other family members.
It is good to be aware of other members of your community as well. It may be that some, due to old age or infirmities are unable to respond to an immediate emergency. What can be done to coordinate their safe evacuation? It may be vital to designate certain individuals specifically before an emergency arises. Then if this individual is unable to follow through for some reason or another, they will be able to notify others so that no one is forgotten or vital time wasted because of some confusion on the matter.
An emergency supply kit should contain some water, nonperishable food, any necessary medications, personal toiletries, (perhaps some extra warm socks!), a radio, flashlights, extra batteries, and any important family documents which could include family identifications. If possible it could help to add in a bit of extra cash that would help tide you over for a few days. These things can be stored in containers that are waterproof for that added bit of protection.
At times such as these, one can appreciate that keeping your vehicle in good working order and having the gas tank full will eliminate any extra stress in making a speedy evacuation.
Initially it may seem a bit much to put these measures into place. But more and more we can appreciate the fact that we are living in a world where our safety or even immediate governmental aid in emergencies isn't guaranteed. In recent years, governments have cautioned their citizens to be prepared to take care of themselves for at least 72 hours in the event of any major catastrophe. The general principles outlined here can work for any type of emergency.
10 Facts About Floods
- Since 1900, floods have taken more than 10,000 lives in the United States alone.
- Flash floods often bring walls of water 10 to 20 feet high.
- 95% of those killed in a flash flood try to outrun the waters along their path rather than climbing rocks or going uphill to higher grounds.
- 66 % of flood deaths occur in vehicles, and most happen when drivers make a single, fatal mistake trying to navigate through flood waters.
- Just 6 inches of rapidly moving flood water can knock a person down.
- A mere 2 feet of water can float a large vehicle even a bus.
- 1/3 of flooded roads and bridges are so damaged by water that any vehicle trying to cross stands only a 50% chance of making it to the other side.
- The great Mississippi River Flood of 1993 covered an area 500 miles long and 200 miles wide. More than 50,000 homes were damaged, and 12,000 miles of farmland were washed out.
- Hurricanes, winter storms and snowmelt are common (but often overlooked) causes of flooding.
- New land development can increase flood risk, especially if the construction changes natural runoff path.
Providence Basic Travel Two Person 72-hour Emergency
This two-person 72 hour travel kit is ideal for people who are frequently away from home. Store this kit in a suitcase, car, or backpack and you will always be prepared wherever you may go. The kit includes:
• 2 Emergency Thermal Sleeping Bags
• 2 Ponchos
• 1 First Aid and CPR Booklet
• 2 Whistles
• 2 Heat Packs
• 2 Brightsticks
• 1 Omegalight Shake Flashlight
• 1 Gear Bag
• 1 Auto Emergency Case
• 1 Jumper Cables
• 12 Aqua Blox Water Boxes
• 6 2400 Calorie Bars
• 1 Wet Naps
• 1 Tissue Pack