When I teach preppers, I always stress living near some sort of a water source. Unfortunately, for some of you, it means living near the river and dealing with the dangers of floods, especially spring floods. Surviving a flood is very easy if you are prepared and leave for higher ground as soon as you hear that a flood is possible. On the other hand, if you end up stranded in your home, you may have a very hard time escaping alive.
Stay up to Date
Floods can develop very rapidly. Between the changing water levels and the rate at which the water is flowing, you can’t always be sure whether or not you’re safe. If you know that a flood watch or flood warning has been issued for your area, make sure to monitor the weather channel, the local radio and television outlets, and even social media for updates. Staying informed is critical during a flood so that you know whether or not you’ll need to evacuate.
Don’t Wait to Evacuate
If an evacuation warning has been issued for your neighborhood, don’t wait to evacuate. Grab your bug out bags and important documents and evacuate immediately. You should have your gas tank full, as well as have food, water and a first aid kit packed into your vehicle. Drive carefully out of the area and make sure to stay away from storm drains, rivers, streams or other standing water. Pick a route that takes you away from the water faster rather than driving along the bank. Only drive through any water if it’s absolutely necessary. Don’t dawdle or try to gather more of your belongings; you usually have very short time to evacuate before your life becomes endangered.
Get to Higher Ground
Do not stay in areas that are prone to flooding. Get out of there as fast as possible and head for higher ground. If your vehicle becomes stuck in the rising floodwaters, you need to leave it immediately and get to higher ground. If you encounter barricades do not drive through them.
Avoid Electrical Hazards
Power lines get submerged in floodwaters and pose a huge electrical danger. Your own home becomes a danger zone when you are walking in a foot of water with cords and pilots floating in it. If you are stuck in your house and a flood is imminent, shut off the power if you can to avoid getting electrocuted. Unplug appliances. Do not walk through your neighborhood if the streets are flooded – you never know if power lines are hiding in the water.
Avoid Flood Water
I’m sure you’ve heard “turn around, don’tdrown.” Unfortunately despite (or maybe due to) hearing it so frequently during flood seasons, many of us disregard the warning (I’ve been guilty of that). We think that a few inches of standing water ahead can’t or won’t hurt us. We are better than that, we are smarter than that, and we’ll stop if it gets deep. The problem is that there are dangerous currents even in 6 inches of standing water (especially near streams, rivers and flood drains). Again, if you encounter barricades make sure you turn around. Barricades are put in place for your safety. If you drive through them, you are putting your life at risk. My recommendation is to store a life jacket for each family member. If you are stuck on a roof or on top of a vehicle, it may just save your life until help arrives. I also have a water proof flashlight. By the way, if you live in a flood prone area, consider getting Galaxy S5. It can be submerged for up to an hour and not be damaged.
Don’t get Poisoned
Tap water gets compromised during a flood and drinking it is dangerous. Asking for water is also dangerous because you will likely get tap. By the way, it may not look very different and you’ll never know what you are drinking. So stick to bottled water, juice, or whatever you have on hand to stay hydrated if you have to wait for help at home.
One last piece of advice… Visit the FEMA website and explore the flood map for your area. Is your house on a safer side?
To your survival,