Restoration USA Tips: Flood Survival Guide

by / Friday, 20 October 2017 / Published in Restoration USA Tips, Water Damage

Do you or your loved ones live in an area prone to flooding?  Please prioritize your safety and get to know your flood safety survival guide, courtesy of Restoration USA.

What Causes Flooding?

Flooding is caused by major storms and rising water levels, causing rivers, lakes, and other waterways to overflow. Especially susceptible areas include valleys, plains, swamplands, and anywhere near large bodies of water.

Flood Survival Guide

Be Prepared

  • Prepare an emergency survival kit and keep it on hand with three days of supplies for everyone in the household,
  • Include water (1 gallon per head), non-perishable food, a flashlight, battery-powered or hand-crank radio, extra batteries, a first aid kit, big enough supply of medication to last you a week, a multi-purpose tool, cleansing and personal hygiene products, and copies of important personal documents.

Keep An Eye Out

  • Continue to listen to the radio or television for information on the flood
  • Educate yourself on the difference between a flood “watch” and a flood “warning.”
  • A “flood watch“ means a flood is possible in your area.
  • A “flood warning” means flooding is already occurring or will happen soon and you should be prepared to leave at a moment’s notice.
  • Be wary of any flash flooding that may occur. If there is even a slight possibility of a flash flood, you should immediately get to higher ground. Do not wait for instructions to move.
  • Be wary of any streams, drainage channels, canyons, and other areas known to flood abruptly. Flash floods can happen in these areas without your average warnings such as rain clouds or heavy rain.

What are Flash Floods?

  • Flash floods are considered the single deadliest storm-related weather danger in America
  • It kills more than 140 people every year in the United States of America.
  • As you probably could have gathered from the name, flash floods tend to happen suddenly and abruptly, leaving little to no time for warning.
  • There have been some cases of flash floods taking form in as little as 58 seconds.
  • Flash floods are also more inclined to form on small streams with less than 20 square miles of drainage area.

Flash Flood Warning Signs

Though it may be nearly impossible to predict a flash flood you can still keep an eye out for these warning signs, seeing as they could save your life:

  • Flash floods occur within 3 to 6 hours of a rain event.
  • Keep an ear out for any news of dam failures or storm surges.
  • Watch for slow-moving thunderstorms that are just repeatedly circling over the same area.
  • Evidently, hurricanes tend to be another large source of intense rainfall and can jumpstart a flash flood in a matter of minutes.
  • If you see that water is collecting in the pools, it’s a sign that indicates the ground is starting to overflow with water.
  • During flood watches, you do not want to park your car near a river or on a street that you know has a tendency to flood.
  • As land from fields and woodlands turn into the roads and parking lots, it loses its ability to absorb rainfall.
  • Pay close attention to the National Weather Service for indications of a “flood watch” or “flood warning.”

 

Evacuation

  • If you have the time to do so, you should secure your home. Bring in all of the outdoor furniture, and move essential items to an upper floor.
  • Turn off utilities at the main valves if told to do so.
  • Disconnect all electrical appliances.
  • Do not touch electrical equipment if you are wet or standing in water.
  • When a flood “warning” is issued for your area, evacuate.
  • Head for higher ground and stay there.
  • Do not walk through moving water.
  • All it takes is 6 inches of moving water to make you fall.
  • If you do have to walk in water, walk where the water is not moving and use a stick to check the firmness of the ground in front of you.
  • If you come upon a flowing stream where water is above your ankles, stop, turn around and go another way.
  • Keep children out of the water.

 

Traveling During Floods

  • If you come across a flooded road while driving, turn around and go another way.
  • Do not attempt drive in flooded areas.
  • If floodwaters rise around your car, leave the car immediately and move to higher ground if you can do so safely because you and the vehicle may be swept away.
  • 6 inches of water will reach the bottom of most cars and this will cause a loss of control and possible stalling.
  • One foot of water will float many vehicles.
  • Two feet of rushing water can carry away most vehicles including SUV’s and Pickup Trucks

 

After The Flood

  • Listen for news reports to learn if the water supply is safe to drink or not.
  • The flood water may be contaminated by oil, gasoline, or raw sewage. Water may also be electrically charged from downed power lines.
  • Avoid moving water at all costs.
  • Be wary of areas where floodwaters have gone down. Roads may have weakened and could collapse under the weight of a car.
  • Report any downed power lines to the power company.
  • Return home only when authorities indicate it is safe to do so.

 

Remember:

  • Stay out of any building if it is surrounded by flood water.
  • Execute caution when entering buildings; there may be hidden damage, particularly in foundations.
  • Fix damaged septic tanks, cesspools, or pits as soon as possible.
  • Damaged sewage systems are serious health hazards.
  • Clean and disinfect everything that got wet.
  • Mud left from floodwater may contain sewage and chemicals.

Go With The Pros

Should you or your family experience a flood, worry not for Restoration USA has the means to repair your home! We offer 24 hour services because we realize that disaster can strike whenever, so give us a ring no matter the time or day. Fill out the contact form on the website www.RestorationUSA.com or give us a call at (866)-745-6428. You’ll be back in your comfort zone in no time.