Before a Flood - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Before a Flood

Floods And Flash Floods
Mitigation includes any activities that prevent an emergency, reduce the chance of an emergency happening, or lessen the damaging effects of unavoidable emergencies. Investing in mitigation steps now such as constructing barriers such as levees and purchasing flood insurance will help reduce the amount of structural damage to your home and financial loss from building and crop damage should a flood or flash flood occur.

BEFORE
Find out if you live in a flood-prone area from your local emergency management office or Red Cross chapter.

Ask whether your property is above or below the flood stage water level and learn about the history of flooding for your region.

Learn flood warning signs and your community alert signals.

Request information on preparing for floods and flash floods.

If you live in a frequently flooded area, stockpile emergency building materials.
These include plywood, plastic sheeting, lumber nails, hammer and saw, pry bar,shovels, and sandbags.

Have check valves installed in building sewer traps to prevent flood waters from backing up in sewer drains. As a last resort, use large corks or stoppers to plug showers, tubs, or basins.

Plan and practice an evacuation route.
Contact the local emergency management office or local American Red Cross chapter for a copy of the community flood evacuation plan.

This plan should include information on the safest routes to shelters. Individuals living in flash flood areas should have several alternative routes.

Have disaster supplies on hand.

  • Flashlights and extra batteries
  • Portable, battery-operated radio and extra batteries
  • First aid kit and manual
  • Emergency food and water
  • Non-electric can opener
  • Essential medicines
  • Cash and credit cards
  • Sturdy shoes
Develop an emergency communication plan.
In case family members are separated from one another during floods or flashfloods (a real possibility during the day when adults are at work and children are at school), have a plan for getting back together.

Ask an out-of-state relative or friend to serve as the "family contact." After a disaster, it's often easier to call long distance. Make sure everyone in the family knows the name, address, and phone number of the contact person.

Make sure that all family members know how to respond after a flood or flash flood.
Teach all family members how and when to turn off gas, electricity, and water.

Teach children how and when to call 911, police, fire department, and which radio station to tune to for emergency information.

Learn about the National Flood Insurance Program.
Ask your insurance agent about flood insurance. Homeowners policies do not cover flood damage.

DURING A FLOOD WATCH

  • Listen to a battery-operated radio for the latest storm information.

  • Fill bathtubs, sinks, and jugs with clean water in case water becomes contaminated.

  • Bring outdoor belongings, such as patio furniture, indoors.

  • Move valuable household possessions to the upper floors or to safe ground if time permits.

  • If you are instructed to do so by local authorities, turn off all utilities at the main switch and close the main gas valve.

  • Be prepared to evacuate
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