Flood is one of the most common natural disasters that significantly affect our lives, especially those who live in flood-prone areas. Flood hazards can be local, affecting a small community or locality or very large affecting multiple states or an entire country.
If you are living in a flood prone area or have been warned about an impending flood, then you should prepare as quickly as possible. In order to prevent flood damage, you should take the necessary steps before, during and after the flood.
The following are the safety measures to be taken before a flood to prevent flood damage:
- If you are living in a flood prone area, you should elevate and reinforce your home to protect yourself and your property from flood hazards.
- If your living area is susceptible to flooding, you should elevate electric panel, water heater, furnace etc.
- To prevent flood water from blocking the drains of your home, sewer taps should be installed with appropriate check valves.
- You should construct barriers like floodwalls, beams etc to prevent flood water from entering into your building. This will help greatly to prevent flood damage.
- You should also seal the walls of your basement with waterproofing compounds so as to avoid seepage.
- If you have been warned of an impending flood, you should watch television or public communication media to gather more information about the disaster to come.
- If you have been warned of a flash flooding, then you should not waste time waiting for instructions to evacuate but should move to a higher ground as quickly as possible.
- If you are preparing to evacuate, then you should secure your home. If you have the time, move the valuables and essentials to an elevated place or upper floor. You should also turn off all the utilities like power supply, water supply, gas supply etc at its main source. Also disconnect all electrical appliances, if possible. This will help to prevent flood damage to the maximum extent possible.
The following are the safety measures to be taken during a flood to prevent flood damage:
· During a flood, if you have to move through water, always walk through standing water. Also check the firmness of the ground before you with a stick and only then, you move on. Never walk through moving water as it can make you fall.
· It is very dangerous to drive in the floods, as the flood water can easily sweep you and your car. If you are in the car and if you see the flood water rising, then leave the car and move to a raised platform as quickly as possible.
The following are the safety measures to be taken after a flood to prevent flood damage:
- Do no go back to your home as soon as the flood water recedes. You should go back to your home, only when it is declared safe to return to the flooded areas.
- Do not turn on or start using utilities like power supply, water supply, gas supply etc immediately after a flood. Start using them only after it is declared safe to use them or an electrician has checked them.
- Before starting living in your home and using your personal and household properties, you should clean, disinfect and dry out them. This will also help to prevent flood damage to a great extent.
If you are living in a flood prone area, it is advisable to have flood insurance for your family and property. This will help to reduce the cost of restoration after flood.