Well, we certainly hope not! however, with the current severe
weather events we are experiencing, floods and flash floods may be experienced at any time, as usual, proper preparation in
good time will help you survive these disasters.
This article will
be dealt with in sections, from the very basic pre-preparation advice and tips, right through to immediately prior to flood
warnings, during and post effects.
You will find a number of useful links at the end of the article
In common with dealing
with any disaster preparation, one of the most important items to have prepared is your basic disaster kit, emergency and
essential supplies for at least 5 days. This list is available at our site here; http://www.ambilacuk.com/safesurvivalmagazine/shortsurvival.html
However, for ease
of reference I include the basic kit contents below:
Personal toiletries soap, toothpaste, sanitary napkins, toilet paper
Blanket (Foil space blanket is ideal) or sleeping bag if you have room
Waterproof cover or groundsheet
Lightweight stove and fuel at least enough for the short term
Flashlight and batteries
Small spade folding one is ideal
Small hand axe
Spare underclothes socks etc
Nylon rope at least 15 metres or 50 feet
Spare cash including some small change (phone calls)
Portable radio the wind up and solar charged are excellent
Personal documents wills, birth certificate, ID card, passport etc and
ensure you keep them inside a plastic bag or similar.
Paper and pencils (pencils are able to write on damp paper)
Whistle with neck cord
Mess tins for cooking and eating.
Water purifying tablets
A few tins of food, such as;
Soups (or the packet variety)
First aid Kit
Dressings and bandages
Antiseptic cream or spray
Personal medication (to include general items such as paracetemal or
In addition, it may be advisable to make up a smaller vehicle emergency
kit with the essential supplies required for road trips.
This would be highly recommended if you were driving daily throughout the winter months.
First aid kit (including any medication you or your family are being prescribed)
Torch (plus spare battery and/or torch charged via the vehicle battery)
Blanket, or at least a space survival blanket
Newspapers (for insulation)
Folding shovel (useful in snow and ice to dig your vehicle out)
Spare jacket, socks and gloves
Chocolate or energy bars
Container of water
Basic set of tools
Old sleeping bag (especially useful if you drive regularly during winter)
Sunglasses (to avoid snow blindness)
Matches or fire-starter
Last, but by no means least, a fully charged mobile/cell phone
The above may appear quite a list, but it all depends on how far and how regularly you travel, and in any
case, properly stowed, may take up less room that many normally store in their trunk/boot of their vehicle.
any one of those items may save a life
One of the main
problems during flooding is the effects and reaction to electricity water and electrics are a dangerous and lethal combination.
Ensure you and your family are aware of this and know how and where to safely cut the power to your property in an emergency.
In addition, if
you have to evacuate your home, you may also have to switch off the mains gas supply, again ensure you know where the supply
switch is located. Remember, if you switch off the gas supply, it is recommended that it is switched back on by a registered
gas fitter/engineer in case of gas leaks.
in your home for the location of your gas and electric supply board in case the local authorities may have to check for any
leaks in your area.
Learn and practice
your evacuation routes, remember, when the disaster hits, many people will be attempting to exit an area at the same time.
There could delays on the highway and fuel stations could run dry and so on.
Please refer to
the note on evacuation procedures at the end of this article.
a flood watch is issued:
- Instruct your family on the location of the emergency kit, and ensure they know your evacuation
procedures, which should have already been arranged.
- Move any valuables and furniture to a higher floor
- Prepare your vehicle in case of evacuation, fuel supply etc
- Alert neighbours, especially the elderly or informed
- Have a few flood boards or sandbags prepared to block doorways and airbricks
a flood warning is issued;
- Listen to the local radio/TV and weather stations for updates
- Be prepared to evacuate immediately, if not already done so
- Avoid locations near streams or rivers – aim for higher ground
- If you get vehicle gets stuck in rising waters, abandon the vehicle immediately and head
for higher ground.
- Continue to monitor local Radio stations in the event of further severe weather
- Avoid disaster areas – Give the emergency services time to clear hazardous areas and
to avoid crumbling roads, landslides and mudfalls
- Assist any neighbour, especially the elderly or those with children
- Seek medical care/advice if required.
- Report broken power lines or gas leaks immediately to the appropriate authorities.
- Wear strong boots or Wellingtons to avoid damage to the feet.
- Keep an eye out for any dangerous and venomous animals, such as snakes and rats that may
have been washed into your home.
- Avoid walking or driving through floodwater. There may be underlying dangers, such as open
manhole/inspection covers and other hazards.
- Never try to swim through fast flowing water, you may be swept away by fast moving water
or struck by an object in the water
- Be wary of bridges or riverbanks, they may collapse.
- Avoid contact with floodwater, it is possible it will be contaminated
Advice on cleaning
up upon returning to your home.
Be cautious, and
bear in mind the following points;
- The foundations of your house may have been weakened
- Electrical system may have shorted, check your power before switching on and ensure no standing
water is in your vicinity. If in doubt, call in a professional. The same applies to the gas system, and in this case a gas
professional should definitely be called.
- Contact your home insurance company for advice
- Take photographs of damage to your home
- Throw out any waste materials that have entered the house, wear gloves and protecting clothing
to avoid risk of injury or infection.
- Make safe any damage (to prevent further damage) to the house until you can call in a professional.
- Make a recovery plan
- Dry out your home as soon as possible to prevent mildew
- Restore domestic utilities call in a professional to be safe.
- Clean up as best you can by disinfecting and scrubbing down floors, walls and cupboards.
- Service any damaged cesspools as soon as possible to avoid health hazards
- Check to see what financial assistance you may qualify for, such as disaster funds etc
- Rebuild and protect from future similar disasters
New York State
Health - useful general article
Repairing Your Flooded Home available here;
FEMA - Flooding
AllState - Catastrophe centre - Flooding
UK environment Agency Are you at risk of flooding
UK environment agency simple methods to protect your home
UK environment agency What to do in a flood
UK Emergency flood plan
After a flood
Preparing your home for floods British Red Cross
American Red Cross Preparedness fact sheets for all eventualities
Home Guide to Flooding by Movoto real estate with useful links -