Floods are one of earth’s most powerful and destructive disasters touching the lives of thousands of people and causing unimaginable damage. Even while certain geographical locations are more prone to flooding than others, it can happen anytime and anywhere. Hence, it’s important to exercise some flood safety measures that can save your life and of those around you.
If your area has been experiencing heavy rainfalls or if it has been frequently raining for a long period of time, you should check for potential flood warnings by listening to the radio, watching local news and checking weather reports.
There are different types of floods. Coastal floods and river floods develop over a period of time. And flash floods occur in the blink of an eye. Local authorities may issue flash flood or regular flood watches when conditions are favourable for flooding or flash flood or regular flood warnings when flooding is currently occurring or imminent.
As soon as you hear of any news on potential flooding, take flood safety measures to keep you and your family safe.
Before a Flood
- If you live in an area that is prone to flooding, you should apply for flood insurance. Homeowner insurance does not cover damage caused by a flood. Hence, it is important to obtain a separate policy for flood coverage.
- Build a flood survival kit for you and your family and prepare a plan for evacuation.
During a Flood Watch
- Keep your furniture and other belongings safe by moving them on top of counters and tables or to higher floors in your house.
- Make sure your vehicles are in good condition, their fuel tanks are full and be prepared to leave in case evacuation appears necessary.
- Keep track of changes in flood status by tuning in to radio or checking news updates.
During a Flood Warning
- Pay close attention to flood updates on the radio or TV for emergency instructions.
- Be prepared to leave your premises.
- If a flash flood warning is issued, head to higher ground immediately. Flash floods are highly destructive and can turn into raging torrents in a matter of minutes leaving you with very little time to act.
- Stay away from flash flood areas like rivers, creeks, streams, canals and drainage channels.
During a Flood
- Do not drive through flooded areas; this includes flooded roads and bridges. Six inches of fast-moving flood waters can displace a vehicle or knock a person over.
- If your vehicle stalls, leave it right away and seek higher ground.
- Be extra cautious, if flooding occurs at night. Warning signs may not be that noticeable in the absence of light.
- Move to the highest possible point without walking through hazardous flood waters.
After a Flood
- Do not enter your home if it is still flooded or surrounded by flood waters as it can contain dangerous debris.
- Before you re-enter, check for structural damage and foundation cracks. If the damage is severe, do not enter your home until authorities have inspected it for safety.
- Do not use toilets if your water lines and other plumbing have been compromised.
- Check for gas leaks. If you smell or hear a hissing noise, leave the premises immediately. If you can, turn off the gas at the main valve outside your home. Contact the gas company.
- Watch out for snakes and other animals that may have entered your home with flood waters.
- Do not consume or wash with tap water until advised by local authorities to do so.
- Turn off the power supply at the meter box if you can reach it without stepping in water.
- Listen to radio and check for news updates on water safety, transportation and other important information.
- Discard all foods that have come in contact with flood waters, including canned items.
- Avoid walking or swimming in flood waters. It may be electrically charged from underground or downed power lines.
- Capture photos of the damage to present them to your insurance company.
- Be aware of the risk of electric shocks. Do not touch any wet electrical equipment.
The above flood safety measures can help keep risks to a minimum.
But remember when a flood occurs, even after waters recede, it is not safe to live in your home. It has to be thoroughly inspected, cleaned, repaired and restored before occupying it.
Bio Cleanse offers complete flood damage restoration services to homes and businesses across Sydney. Call on 1300 774 631 to know how we can help you.