Flooding can happen anywhere there is water. There are times however, when flooding is predicted and, especially those in low-lying areas, should be prepared to ensure the safety of themselves and their loved ones.
The first step in being prepared for a potential flood is to have an emergency family communication plan. Then prepare an emergency kit in advance that includes non-perishable foods and plenty of water. A reliable radio that is battery powered, along with extra batteries, is a must as power will probably be out during a flood.
Be sure to include a first aid kit that has antibiotic ointments, bandages, antiseptic solutions, scissors, splints, and anything else you can cram into it. During a flood you may encounter several different types of emergencies. Try to be prepared for all of them, from mosquito bites, to headaches, to twisted ankles and everything in between!
Have a list of emergency phone numbers on hand, along with medications and medication lists. It wouldn't hurt to have a complete first-aid manual tucked into your preparations. These sometimes have a section to list all those medications, keeping the information in a central spot.
Have at least one blanket, if not more, stored where you can get to it in the event of a flash flood. If time allows, and the need is there, store several blankets nearby.
If you can, plan ahead. Have important documents all in one area where you can pack them up if need be and take them with you to a safer location. Things like social security cards, birth certificates and family contact information will be useful and safer with you than left to the effects of a flood.
If you have a cell phone, be sure it is charged and have your charger handy to grab should you need to leave in a hurry.
Have a bag already packed, and ready to grab, that includes extra clothing, shoes, baby or pet supplies. Try to have extra cash on hand and readily available. Take any extra keys to the house or car with you, either on your person or in your bag.
Now that you know what to take with you should you need to evacuate your home during a flood, let's address how you can prepare your home for the least amount of damage.
If time permits, move your valuables to the highest location in your home. If you have an upstairs; moving televisions, computers, and other items up the stairs may save those items from ruination. If it is possible, elevate appliances as far off the floor as you can.
If you have plenty of warning, build barriers around your home to stop water from entering. Sand bags, trenches, and other ideas can be used to try to "steer" the water away from your home, or keep it from entering. Work alone or within your community if you have neighbors close by.
Be prepared for flooding in low-lying areas. But, remember, flash floods give very little warning. Be prepared, also, to grab what you can and get out as quickly as possible. Nothing in your home is worth your life. Prepare what you can but, if you don't have time, grab your emergency kit, your blanket, and your loved ones and get out!