Every year, heavy rains and thunderstorms bring torrential waters that may cause a flash flood in your area. This can deal considerable water damage to your property and pose significant health and safety risks to you and your family.
In the event of water damage, commercial storm cleanup services are ready to assist you with repairs and restore your property in the least amount of time. However, nothing can replace staying prepared to ensure your and your family’s safety in the event of flash floods.
Fortunately, there are steps that you can take to make sure that you and your family are secure during this occurrence and mitigate water damage to your property.
How to Prepare For an Incoming Flood
Preparation is always the first step to safety, especially when faced with the prospect of heavy rainfall or flash flooding in your area. Follow the following flood preparation tips to make sure you and your family are equipped to face the oncoming ordeal:
- Listen to local stations for heavy rainfall updates. Be familiar with the terms they use when they issue reports. For example, Flood Watch means there is a possibility of flooding, while Flood Warning means it is certain and will occur soon. Knowing these terms can help you take the necessary precautions.
- Gather emergency supplies. Prepare an emergency kit that should include supplies that can sustain you and your family for 72 hours, such as non-perishable food and water, flashlights, extra batteries, a portable radio, clothing, toiletries, and emergency cash.
- Store all important documents in a safety deposit box or waterproof container. These should include birth and marriage certificates, legal papers, immunization records, financial papers, and insurance policy information.
- Bring in or tie down all outdoor items. These include lawnmowers, grills, furniture, tools, and trash cans.
- Fill up your vehicle’s gas tank. Make sure your car is ready at any moment’s notice to carry you when an evacuation order is issued.
- Prepare a family contingency plan. This should include an evacuation plan for when an evacuation order is issued and a communication plan for the entire family in case of unforeseen circumstances. Choose a friend or relative out-of-state as the designated check-in person.
What to Do During a Flood
During a flood, it’s always best not to move around in areas covered by flood water. Doing so poses various safety risks such as slipping, stepping on sharp and pointy objects, or falling into holes concealed by flood waters. Even driving through flooded roadways isn’t recommended.
Knowing what to do during a flood involves being prepared in the following ways:
- Prepare your home and secure your belongings. Move all essential items to an upper floor or higher ground. Store all valuables in waterproof containers.
- Turn off the main switch and gas valve. If you live in a particularly high-risk area, switch off the main power supply. However, avoid doing so if you must step into your flooded basement or at least stand on the water to do so. In such situations, it’s better to call your electric utility provider to shut off your power supply at the meter.
- Remain on alert and stay updated on current weather conditions. Continue listening to local radio stations and look for evacuation orders and routes to take. Listen closely for directions on where to go and
- Emphasize your family contingency plan. Review all your plans with your family in case of unexpected events. Be prepared to practice your evacuation plan and ensure everyone follows your communication plan.
- Be ready to contact local authorities. As the water level rises, be prepared to evacuate your home. If you are unable to do so, head to the highest possible floor immediately, such as the top floor, your attic, or the roof.
Dangers to Watch Out For During and After a Flood
Flood waters pose a significant risk of being swept away by the fast movement of water. However, it can also bring other health and safety hazards such as sewage, electricity, gas, and chemicals that could threaten your family. Get to know these risks and what you can do to protect everyone in your household.
Floods can bring sewage and other substances that carry pathogens that can lead to infections. Follow these precautions to reduce you and your family’s risk of contracting an infection:
- Discard all consumable goods that have been in contact with floodwater. These include bottled water and drinks, food, and medicine.
- Don’t let your kids play in and with flood water. In case of contact, practice good hygiene and have them wash with soap and clean water. Wash their toys as well to eliminate harmful bacteria.
- Prevent exposure to floodwater if you have an open skin wound. In case of contact, use an antiseptic to clean the wound and cover it with a waterproof bandage.
Stagnant floodwaters can also produce fumes that put your respiratory health at risk. These can come from areas where microorganisms thrive and harmful substances pool.
Here’s how to keep safe from these respiratory hazards after a flood
- Avoid areas with visible microbial growth. Floodwaters create ideal conditions for mold to grow and can grow on any damp surface within 72 hours. Steer clear of areas with visible signs of mold as they could release spores that can damage your lungs. When you notice signs of microbial growth, it’s best to seek the help of experts in commercial storm cleanup and property restoration in Avondale.
- Run oil and gas equipment in well-ventilated outdoor areas. If you need to operate generators and other equipment that run on propane, gasoline, or diesel, do so in outdoor areas to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
- Steer clear of old homes with visible damage. Aside from the potential for debris-related accidents, some old homes may have used asbestos as a construction material to avoid asbestos poisoning.
- Keep away from building materials. Some building materials like paint and roofing materials may contain lead and produce harmful fumes.
After a flood, be careful when entering your home due to potential spills that may expose you to harmful chemicals. Keep yourself from chemical exposure by doing the following:
- Stay away from gas tanks if they’ve fallen onto the ground. Make sure they are empty before you approach them or call the fire marshall’s office for assistance. Do not attempt to move them by yourself.
- Do not get close to areas where car batteries are submerged in floodwaters. The acid inside these batteries may have spilled due to damage and can cause skin irritation.
Electrical and Gas
Gas leaks and electrical disasters are not uncommon in disasters involving flooding. The following are tips you can follow to keep yourself and your family safe from them:
- Do not step on waters with exposed wires and fallen power lines. Do not touch these wires as well as make contact with water near the surrounding area after a flood. If you see fallen power lines, report them immediately.
- Never enter the home if you failed to switch off the main power switch. Instead, call a qualified electrician to inspect the premises and declare that it’s safe for you to return.
- Stay away from your home if you smell rotten eggs or sulfur. An odd odor could indicate a gas leak in your home. Notify the gas company right away to have them fix the leak.
Call the Experts in Property Restoration in Avondale
Heavy rains and thunderstorms bring floodwaters that can destroy everything in their wake. Being faced with the aftermath of such a disaster can be stressful for anyone and is made even more so when faced with the prospect of dealing with the amount of work needed during cleanup and repairs. If you need help restoring your property to its pre-loss condition, call the experts in commercial storm cleanup and property restoration in Avondale. Restoration 1 provides a seamless experience to restore balance in your and your family’s lives in the least amount of time possible.