Surviving Floods through Evacuation or Sheltering

dealing with floods
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Floods are deadly natural disasters that almost everyone has to deal with. However, how would you know if the best option is to evacuate or stay?

Some people believe evacuating is always the correct choice since you cannot risk your life while others insist that they cannot just leave their possessions and that they can tough it out. But before and during the actual flood, you’d likely be debating yourself with what to do. In order to make an informed choice, you must listen to radio and television reports regarding the storm. Whatever you choose, it’s best to know what to do in both cases.

Choosing to Evacuate

Now that you’ve decided to flee instead of taking a risk, you need to know when you should exactly evacuate. You might have planned to evacuate, but it could be too late if you make miscalculations. This is why you need to listen to what the authorities have to say.

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Remember the evacuation routes in advance and inform other people about them. In fact, it’s best to practice going to these routes at daytime and at night in advance to prepare for future floods. Also, this will help you become familiar with the route even if the landmarks and signs become affected by the floods.

You shouldn’t try to assess the situation by simply checking the water level outside your home since flash floods can happen. Even just two feet of water can stop your car from moving properly. Just six inches of incoming floodwaters can drag the average person.

If the flood waters become too much to drive effectively, leave your car behind and safely walk to higher ground as you wait for rescuers to arrive.

Deciding to Stay

This is also handy if you were about to evacuate but you realized it was already too late. The first thing you need to do is to go to higher ground, which means going to the highest floor or to the roof of your house. If you live in a one-story house, keep your emergency supplies in the best place possible. This can be in the attic or even in trash bags on top of furniture and appliances. The point is to keep your supplies from getting wet.

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Likewise, your emergency supplies should include food and water to last for at least a week, a Swiss Army knife, first aid kit, rope, portable radio, blankets, portable toilets, life jackets, bright clothes, flashlights, rope, communication devices like phones and two-way radios, and an axe or saw to break through the roof. If you’re wondering why the clothes should be bright, it’s so that they can be used to easily signal rescuers.

To prevent any severe damage and possible electrocution, remember to turn off the gas meter and shut down the primary electrical breaker. Check all your appliances if they are still plugged in or not. Likewise, avoid walking in floodwaters since they can have awful chemicals and toxins.

Once in the roof, put a rope around you so that even if you fall down into the floodwaters, people can help you get back up to the roof. Of course, you must make wise decisions regarding staying in the same house or moving to a nearby and possibly more stable structure.

All in all, you are better of evacuating from an incoming flood. But if there isn’t enough time for that, you must have your emergency supplies and you should keep a sharp mind until rescue arrives.

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