Flood Safety Measures: A Guide

flood safety measures

If you live in a low-lying neighbourhood with frequent severe downpours, the chances of your property inundating increase by several folds. For this reason, flood safety measures are a crucial aspect to be familiar with in order to avoid possible disasters.

Many people are unprepared for the perils that an oncoming flood can bring. Additionally, they might not be ready for the subsequent cleanup and rehabilitation. 

Your life and the lives of those around you can be saved from a lot of hassle if you prepare yourself beforehand and learn the know-how of handling a flash-flood scenario.  

In this article Graana.com— Pakistan’s smartest property portal will go through some of the steps you may take before, during, and after a house flood. 

 

Why Do Floods Occur?

 

flood safety - white and brown concrete building near body of water during daytime

 

A flood is an excessive overflow of water that can cause mass destruction. Moreover, sometimes it can lead to the loss of lives in some cases. 

Floods can be quite dangerous. This depends on whether they are just a few inches deep or overflowing enough to completely engulf entire structures. These can occur when rivers and lakes cannot handle the influx of rain or melting snow or when the ground cannot adequately absorb the moisture.

Flooding might occur as a result of damage or burst of water containment systems (including levees, dams, and pipes).

Moreover, they can also occur due to waterways overflowing, winds from tropical storms, or hurricanes generating storm surges in coastal areas.

 

Why Preparing for Flooding is Crucial

Flooding is the most common hazard in underdeveloped countries. This is because there is no proper water storage or disposal system for heavy construction in cities. 

Thus, relying on just your location that it might or might not flood is a big risk you shouldn’t take and rather be prepared for. 

Some floods develop slowly, while flash floods can occur within minutes or hours after a storm or containment system breaks.

 

Flood Safety Tips to Keep in Mind During Rainstorms

You can find the pointers for keeping yourself safe under three divided sections in the blog. These recommendations and post-flood survival advice to keep in mind to keep your life and property safe.

 

What to Do: Before The Flood

It’s important to realise that preparation for flooding starts long before a storm is predicted. 

You can make yourself better prepared for a flood by making home improvements. Try increasing drainage and water resistance, storing up disaster-ready supplies, and learning about flood safety.

Floods can happen as a result of hurricanes, unusually high rains, melting snow, broken dams, and extremely warm weather. Even if you live in a higher altitude area where floods don’t usually occur, there is always a chance of any flood occurrence.

In such cases, survival is achievable only if one is aware of the risks and knows how to be safe in a lethal circumstance.

 

Pointers to Consider for Preparing Yourself Before Flood Season:

  • Avoid building your home in a flood-prone area if possible.
  • Keep your house raised if you intend to construct a home in a flood-prone area.
  • Consider purchasing flood insurance to help with losses in the event of a flood. This might be even easier if you reside in a low-lying area where there have been previous instances of house flooding.
  • When building your home in a flood-prone location, keep all electrical and gas points, switches, circuit breakers, and electrical wiring elevated. 
  • Create barriers to prevent floodwater from accessing your home’s grounds.

 

What to Do: During The Flood

 

people wearing boots as flood safety measure

 

In case you’re not already prepared for a storm and are stuck in a place where there is a predicted chance of flooding, you can strategise an emergency safety plan. This plan will help you act quickly in case of a flood emergency

Following are some quick safety tips you can implement while drafting your plan.

  • Prepare an easy-to-use emergency pack. The pack should include all the necessary items such as a torch, a radio, some batteries, protective gear like rubber gloves, goggles, prescription medications, painkillers, and a practical first aid kit. 
  • Keep all of your electrically powered items, such as your cell phone and emergency lights well charged. Additionally, keep a backup torch with batteries nearby in case the emergency light runs out of power.
  • Put a stop to the water at the source. Sandbags should be piled high or, better still, flood boards should be used to stop water from entering the building.
  • Move essential and valuable items to the top floor of your two-story home to keep them out of the way of floodwaters. Make sure to move critical books and documents from your basement to the higher floors if you have one.
  • As soon as water enters your home, immediately turn off the gas and electricity at the main switch. 
  • All electrical devices should be unplugged. Only use emergency lights when necessary.

 

What To Do: After The Flood

 

brown tree log on river after flooding

 

Without addressing what needs to be done once the house has been flooded with water, your flood guide remains incomplete. 

Once the water has entered your area, you are not left with many options but to act on quick safety options. This section features a list of some of the top house flood safety advice. 

  • Starting from the first step, find the source of the water entering your property.
  • Listen to the radio if you have vacated the building, and only go back inside when the authorities say it is safe to do so.
  • When entering the house, stay out of the floodwaters. This is only to keep yourself safe from the tainted water. 
  • Be extra cautious while entering your home.  After a flood, water could also be electrically charged or could have snakes and insects for which you need to be vigilant. 
  • When wading through flood water at home, wear rubber shoes, gloves, and goggles for safety.
  • Use a dehumidifier to help clear the home of excess moisture and humidity.
  • Prior to turning on the lights, make sure to call an electrician to inspect the premises.
  • It is usually a good idea to take pictures of flood damage to support your insurance claim if you had purchased insurance.
  • Your home may have been infested with mould and mildew. Never begin cleaning without first donning the necessary safety equipment.

 

These important safety measures can go a long way to keep you safe from unfortunate flooding incidents. If you’re looking for more information on flooding and its dangers, visit Graana Blog

About Hareem Qamar

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