This season of summer started off with 10 days of torrential rains for my area at the end of June. with over 4 inches of rain for a month that started dry, it is hard for drainage of such an amount of water in a short amount of time. So with that, there are some resulting flooding that must be dealt with. Meantime, be ready. I am sharing some helpful tips and pointers to be prepared so that your health and welfare are not adversely affected during the outbreak!
Does the Forecast Involve Excessive Rain or Flooding?
As informed by the National Weather Service in the article: Flood Safety Tips and Resources, flooding can be more than just depressing, it can be a downright catastrophe. Here are the demographics in any case of excess rain in a less than moderate amount of time:
Tips: Preparedness Before, During & After Flooding Waters:
PREPARATION BEFORE THE FLOOD:
Preparation is a very important of the process of making through a flooding period, and being ready. Here are some tips and pointers to assisting you in making sure that you are prepared for the flood, way before it shows up on your doorstep:
- Create a Communications Plan! It’s important to be able to communicate with your family and friends if disaster strikes. Having a specific person identified to contact for status updates and having a safe location to meet up with family members is crucial. Have a plan in place if disaster does strike.
- Assemble an Emergency Kit! Assembly of enough food, water and medicine on hand at all times to last at least 3 days in the case of any emergency.
- Water service may become interrupted or unsafe to drink
- Food may not be able to be cooked
- No refrigeration may be available if electric power is interrupted
- First aid kit
- Rubber boots
- Rubber gloves
- A NOAA Weather Radio or other battery operated radio
- Know Your Risk! Make sure you access whether or not that your home, business or school is on a floodplain. Make sure that you discuss this with your insurance agent before disaster strikes. Maske sure that you identify the source of nearby water and where the risks are. Are there roadways you most often travel where water is likely to collect on? Identify an escape plan:
- The roadways
- A Walking path
- The fastest way to get to higher ground
Knowing the answers to these questions ahead of time can mean the difference of saving your life in time of crisis.
- Sign Up for Notifications! Keep informed at the NOAA/National Weather Service: Water web-page.
- Sign Up for Notifications! Get notifications for the Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service RSS feeds for observed forecast and alert conditions about local water conditions.
- Prepare Your Home: Sometimes floods develop slowly and forecasters can anticipate floods days or even weeks before they occur. Other times, flash floods can occur within minutes without any sign of oncoming rain. Being prepared can save your life and give you peace of mind::
- Sandbags or other materials to protect your home from flooding water. Having sufficient time to do so is crucial, because filling sandbags can take longer than you think and in crisis, you may not have enough time.
- Have a professional install backup check-valves in plumbing to prevent flood waters from coming back the opposite way through the drains in your home.
- Make sure your sump pump is in proper working order and consider a backup.
- Make sure your electric circuit breakers or fuses, are marked clearly to represent each area of your home.
- Standard homeowners insurance doesn’t cover floods! Ensure coverage on your home and it’s belongings by contacting your insurance agent to purchase proper flood insurance. This must be done before way before there is an event or a threat of flooding. Insurance companies pay attention to zones and once a threat is issued, they stop issuing policies until there is no longer a threat of flooding. (i.e. an approaching hurricane, or storms cross country impending). Yet even, many flood insurance policies have provisions that take at least 30 days for benefits to go into effect, so that even if you can buy it as a storm is approaching, it may not have protection, if you do not act before a flood.
- Take photos way before any incident: Take photos for insurance purposes and also so you know what may be lost, should disaster strike. These photos and comparable photos right before you leave will make the claim process a cinch later, if a disaster happens.
- Prepare your Family/Pets:
Due to possible evacuation, pack in advance. Don’t procrastinate gathering essentials for yourself, your family and/or your pets.
- Keep your Essential Electronics Charged: Make sure that your cell phone, portable radios, flashlights and other instruments fully charged in case you lose power and/or need to evacuate. Also have back-up batteries for all the above on hand.
- Leave: Without having to be evacuated, make the decision to get out, if it is likely your home will flood. You don’t have to wait to be ordered to leave; evacuate yourself! Make sure you take another quick set of photos. Try to make sure GPS location set is on while taking , as it helps prove that they were taken before the storm. Make alternative plans for a place to stay. If you have pets, take them with you or make accommodations for boarding them at a friends, family or a facility well away from harm’s way.
- If you can, give blood regularly: Health permitting, make sure you do your part to make sure that the local blood banks are fully restored before a disaster.
DURING THE FLOOD:
If you are present during the arrival of flooding conditions, here are some tips and pointers to assisting you in making sure that you are prepared for the conditions of having a flood on your doorstep:
- Monitor the levels of water at all times: The water levels and the rate the water is flowing can quickly change, so remain aware and monitor local radio and television outlets frequently. Avoid the flood waters and evacuate immediately if and when water starts to rise. Make a decision promptly and don’t wait until it is too late!
- Stay Informed: Listen to radio and television, including NOAA Weather Radio and if possible, check the Internet and social media for the latest information and updates.
- Get to Higher Ground: If you live in a flood prone area or are camping in a low lying area, get to higher ground immediately. If you notice incoming water of any levels, evacuate immediately.
- Obey Evacuation Orders: If you are told to evacuate, please do so immediately. Lock up when you leave. If you have time, disconnect any and all utilities and if possible, appliances.
- Practice Electrical Safety: Do not go into the basement, or any room if and when water covers the electrical outlets or if cords are submerged under water. If you see sparking or hear buzzing, crackling, snapping and/or popping noises–get out immediately! Stay out of standing water that possibly has electricity in it!
- Avoid Flood Waters: Do not walk through flood waters, as it only takes 6 inches of moving water to knock you off of your feet. If you are trapped by moving water, move to the highest point and call 9-1-1 if it is possible. Do NOT drive into flooded roadways or around a barricade–Turn Around, Don’t Drown! Water may be deeper than it appears and can hide hazards such as:
- sharp objects
- washed out road surfaces
- electrical wires
A vehicle caught in swiftly moving water can be swept away in seconds with just 12 inches of water, and 18 inches of water can carry away large vehicles, or a small SUV. A cubic yard of water weighs 1,686 pounds, so add in movement so you see the power of water. You don’t stand a chance walking, so don’t even try!
AFTER WATER RECEDES:
When The flood waters recede, the damage left behind by the water, all things involved with it and the trauma and elements can be devastating and present many dangers. Flood destruction can depict:
- Destruction to homes and buildings
- Missing, damaged and destroyed possessions
- Missing and destroyed vehicles
- Decimated roadways
However, what you can’t see can be very dangerous. Floodwaters often become contaminated with sewage or chemicals, and these elements are left behind in your decimated possessions, buildings and vehicles. Gas leaks and live power lines can be left on and are deadly if not discovered, and are not obvious at first glance, so be very careful!
- Stay Informed: Stay tuned to your local news for updated information on road conditions.
- Water Safety: Ensure water is safe to drink, cook and/or clean with after the flood. Pay attention to the authorities for boil orders, so the water is safe to use after a flood. Pay particular attention to the utility companies about restoration and note that the companies often have apps to update you about getting service back. Carbon monoxide poisoning is one of the leading causes of death after a storm that deals with power outages due to the improper use and or placement of a portable generator. Never use a portable generator inside your home, garage or other closed space. For safety information on use of generators, you can review the following: Carbon Monoxide Dangers.
- Avoid Flood Waters: Standing water likely hide many dangers including toxins, bacteria and chemicals. Also there may be hidden sharp objects under the water. There may also be collapsed roadway, ground, missing manhole covers, and you never can tell how deep the water is once it is covered by water. If it’s likely your home will flood, don’t wait for an evacuation order, just get out! Talk to your neighbors, friends and family about emergency visits. If you have pets, make accommodations and take them with you or somehow get them to safety.
- Avoid Disaster Areas: If you are not trained or a professional, please do not visit disaster areas. Your presence may delay a rescue and other emergency operations that is underway because of concern that you may be injured. It is always the right thing to make sure that this does not happen, because in any emergency situation, time is of essence
- Obey Road Closed and Caution Signs: Road closure and other cautionary signs are not designed to be decorative, and are put in place with safety in mind. Paying attention to them often can mean the difference between life and injury!
- Wait for the “All Clear”: Do not go back to enter your property or searching for items including vehicles until you’re given the “All Clear” by the authorities. If you enter flood damaged buildings and grounds, be extremely careful. Buildings and grounds can be unstable, so water can cause the floods to a further collapse, a ceiling to fall, or other unseen problems. Make sure that the electrical system has been disconnected before entry. Have the power company or a qualified electrician fix any wiring. Contact your insurance agent to evaluate property damage. If you have a generator, follow proper safety procedures: FEMA Portable Generators and Winter Storms (The tips and pointers are still valid for summer storms).
- Contact Your Family and Loved Ones: Let your family and close friends know that you’re okay. Login to Facebook and share your “marked safe” status on either the app or online. Give permission for them to spread the word so you are able to focus on cleaning up the disaster.
- Call your insurance agent: Make an appointment through your insurance agency to have an adjuster dispatched to access the damages. Make sure that you photograph anything you do in an emergency repair situation, so that reimbursement can be accessed after the fact. Anything you do must be documented properly, in order for the adjuster to apply a reimbursement for damages. The agent will be able to give a timetable for getting you back on track and for assisting you in being able to have resources for hiring professionals to repair your property, vehicles or other elements–and get your life back on track again.
RESOURCES & RECOVERY AFTER DISASTER: THE HOME & FAMILY + FINANCIAL TOOLKIT:
There are many disaster and emergency preparedness and assistance resources available for you to help you through the hard times rebuilding:
- American Red Cross: redcross.org
- American Red Cross – Contact and Locate Loved Ones:
- American Red Cross – Find an Open Shelter: redcross.org/get-help/disaster-relief-and-recovery/find-an-open-shelter
- American Red Cross – Safe and Well: safeandwell.communityos.org/cms/index.safe.php
- Apps – American Red Cross: redcross.org/get-help/prepare-for-emergencies/mobile-apps. Separate apps cover the subjects of: blood, earthquake, emergency, first aid, flooding, hero care, hurricanes, pet first aid, tornadoes, and wildfires.
- Apps – Pet owner disaster preparation and assistance (ASPCA): aspca.org/pet-care/general-pet-care/aspca-mobile-app. This can assist with personalized missing pet recovery kits, creating digital lost pet flyers that can be shared instantly on the user’s social networks, advice on what to do with your pet before, during and after a storm or natural disaster, and the ability store a pet’s vital medical records and dietary needs, which can shave off precious time in the event of an emergency. This information can be easily stored and shared for your convenience as well.
- DisasterAssistance.gov: disasterassistance.gov provides information on how you might be able to get help from the U.S. Government before, during and after a disaster. If the President makes help available to individuals in your community after a disaster, you can visit this site to apply online.
- Disaster Distress Helpline: disasterdistress.samhsa.gov SAMHSA’s Disaster Distress Helpline provides crisis counseling and support to people experiencing emotional distress related to natural or human-caused disasters and is dedicated to providing year-round immediate crisis counseling for people who are experiencing emotional distress related to any natural or human-caused disaster. This toll-free, multilingual, and confidential crisis support service is available to all residents in the United States and its territories.
- Call: 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746 to connect with a trained crisis counselor.Stress, anxiety, and other depression-like symptoms are common reactions after a disaster.
- Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA): fema.gov FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.
- Military OneSource: militaryonesource.mil Offers various articles and resources for emergency preparedness and natural disasters.
- Money Management in Times of Disaster: personal-finance.extension.org/money-management-in-times-of-disaster with information about Money Management during times of disaster:
- Money management in times of disaster: Preparation
- Returning to your damaged home
- Managing finances and making decisions after a disaster
- Ready.gov: ready.gov Ready is a national public service advertising (PSA) campaign designed to educate and empower Americans to prepare for and respond to emergencies including natural and man-made disasters. The goal of the campaign is to get the public involved and ultimately to increase the level of basic preparedness across the nation. Ready and its Spanish language version Listo ask individuals to do three key things: (1) build an emergency supply kit, (2) make a family emergency plan and (3) be informed about the different types of emergencies that could occur and their appropriate responses.
- Sesame Street (Emergency Toolkits): sesamestreet.org/toolkits/emergencies has simple and easy resources to help you help children and others recover from an emergency.
- The National Terror Alert Response Center: nationalterroralert.com is a private homeland security blog and not affiliated with any government agency. We archive and comment on homeland security related news items from a variety of news sources and tips, as well as provide immediate updates on breaking stories, bulletins and any change in status to Homeland Security advisory. <National Terror Alert has become America’s leading source for homeland security news and information. A collaborative resource of news and analysis related to homeland security events, threats and trends. The National Terror Alert Response Network promotes homeland security emergency preparedness through awareness, education, community involvement and partnerships between individuals, groups and organizations. We strive to chronicle homeland security related news, trends and events in an effort to create national awareness and focus. It is our belief that through education and awareness some instances of terrorism may be prevented and through preparedness lives can be saved.
- TriCare: tricare.mil/disasterinfo In the event of a natural disaster, TriCare US Family Health Plan will post disaster-related information on their homepage. It’s important to know that your TriCare benefits will be maintained during any time of crisis. In the event of evacuation, please take the necessary precautions. In the case of an emergency, dial 911 or go directly to the nearest emergency room. Click on an icon below (on the TriCare website) to read alerts and emergency information in your area.
- TriCare emergency prescription refills: At times during emergencies, TriCare may authorize early refills for prescriptions. You will be notified via this site if early refills re authorized. TriCare officials remind beneficiaries that early refills are only authorized for beneficiaries who specifically indicate they are impacted by the emergency event.
There is more information available on the subject at: CDC: Natural Disasters and Severe Weather-Floods. Floods are a nasty fact of life, and happen in conjunction with other phenomenon like hurricanes, thunderstorms and just by themselves–by having storms or rains just not going away quick enough. It is never any fun! Don’t let the next flood be your last! Pay proper attention and be safe! They are not going away forever, and we need to be prepared, and be safe.
FIND YOUR LOCAL NOAA.com WEATHER RADIO STATION:
FIND YOUR LOCAL NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE FORECAST:
The truth is that I am hearing about this newer theory stated as “Climatic Change”. It is being discussed that because we have a hot year or a wet year, etc.–that this is a definition of climate in considering this a matter of climate change. With the scientific validity, a climate is defined as the studies of weather conditions that are secured over a long period of time, usually 30 years and higher. So the #RealNews of this matter is that this is not only backed up by the U.S.’s own Department of NASA – What’s the Difference Between Weather and Climate?, also by Wikipedia: Climate subject page, then yet also Encyclopedia Britannica: Understanding climate subject page and Webster’s dictionary even defines as “the average course or condition of the weather at a place usually over a period of years as exhibited by temperature, wind velocity, and precipitation” with an undefined “period” of years. There are articles out there with “experts” stating that this is indeed a sign of climatic change. Then while reading the articles, these are based on information compiled from reputable sources, and then it is disclosed in two cases that the expert testimonial is based on thee great work and study of professionals that work at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for a period of a couple of decades–not the 30 or more years you need to begin to access a climate change. Therefore the articles I was reading were misconstruing the expert testimonial on studies of a couple decades and then redefining the meaning of a climate as defined of thirty years or more. Therefore the reporters who made these articles didn’t do a fact check with the dictionaries and encyclopedias first. These persons are actually trying to scare persons more than report great news. There were some sources who did a more excellent job at reporting out there. The reporters could have also did more research about the properties of the cycles of La Niña and El Niño having more to do with climate. We were at the end of a La Niña last year which made the tropics in the Atlantic explode last year.than anything, and it may need to be studied if this has anything to do locally with the conditions in the Northwest. This is not exactly fake news, but severely poor reporting, and the practice of trying to scare readers on a very important and pertinent subject. Just defined–The science always speaks, not opinions. Climate is over 30 years, not a couple decades.