ECOLOGY FOR YOU
RELATED ECOLOGY PROGRAMS
Floods and Flash Floods
Mitigation pays. It 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 like 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.
Have disaster supplies on hand:
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 9-1-1, 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. Homeowner policies do not cover flood damage.
During a Flood Watch
During a Flood
If In a Car:
During an Evacuation
Flood dangers do not end when the water begins to recede. Listen to a radio or television and don't return home until authorities indicate it is safe to do so.
Remember to help your neighbors who may require special assistance--infants, elderly people, and people with disabilities.
Inspect foundations for cracks or other damage.
Stay out of buildings if flood water remains around the building.
When entering buildings, use extreme caution.
Look for fire hazards.
Throw away food--including canned goods--that has come in contact with floodwaters.
Pump out flooded basements gradually (about one-third of the water per day) to avoid structural damage.
Service damaged septic tanks, cesspools, pits, and leaching systems as soon as possible. Damaged sewage systems are health hazards.
Inspecting Utilities in a Damaged Home
Check for gas leaks--If you smell gas or hear blowing or hissing noise, open a window and quickly leave the building. Turn off the gas at the outside main valve if you can and call the gas company from a neighbor's home. If you turn off the gas for any reason, it must be turned back on by a professional.
Look for electrical system damage--If you see sparks or broken or frayed wires, or if you smell hot insulation, turn off the electricity at the main fuse box or circuit breaker. If you have to step in water to get to the fuse box or circuit breaker, call an electrician for advice.
Check for sewage and water lines damage--If you suspect sewage lines are damaged avoid using the toilets and call a plumber. If water pipes are damaged, contact the water company and avoid the water from the tap. You can obtain safe water by melting ice cubes.
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