With the current rainy forecast, we thought it would be a good time to review some flood precautions here at home. The following tips come to us courtesy of Sean Breslin at The Weather Channel. For more information on what to do before, during, and after a flood, check out our flood information pages.
1. Drive through floodwaters.
There’s no telling how deep that water can be when a street gets flooded, so don’t ever risk it. Also, remember that people with families have to come rescue you if you’re stuck in floodwaters, so don’t create a life-threatening situation for yourself or others.
2. Use electricity in a flooded home.
If water has crept into electrical outlets or currents, you could be electrocuted. Also, don’t assume your entire house has lost power; some areas may still have live electricity. As always, never touch wires that have been downed by a storm, whether in water or not, because they could still be live.
3. Get in the flood water.
Unless there’s an extreme emergency that requires it, you should not wade around in floodwaters. You’re subjecting yourself to disease, sewage, and dangerous animals that may be in the murky water. Depending on the area, that could include snakes, fire ants, spiders, and (thankfully, not often in Kentucky) even alligators.
4. Handle wild animals in the flood water.
It’s always best to leave wildlife alone in a flood event. Strays could carry disease and may become aggressive. This situation is unfamiliar to humans, so imagine how much this is disturbing the wildlife.
5. Ignore flood warnings
Weather forecasts can change as an event evolves. It’s paramount to stay up to date on the latest thinking from the experts, and choosing to ignore any of those warnings could be a fatal mistake. Don’t tune out days before severe weather strikes, because warnings and impacts can change.
6. Neglect to assemble a flood safety kit.
You need a severe weather kit in your home, and it could save your life in a flood. If you’re unsure of what to include in a safety kit, here are some suggestions to get you started.
7. Leave utilities on and plugged in when you evacuate.
If you leave your home for an extended period of time, turn off the electricity. Flood water could cause a lot of damage or even a fire if it gets into live electricity.
8. Dress improperly.
Remember, flood water is dirty and filled with germs. Wear the right clothing if you’re forced to interact with it. Waders are great; shorts and t-shirts are not.
9. Leave furniture and important belongings on the lowest level of your home or outside.
You could lose a lot of items that have high monetary or personal value if the lower level of your house gets flooded. Move as many of those items as you can to the top level of your house, and remember to bring in those important belongings from the yard. If the floodwaters sweep away outdoor furniture, there’s a good chance you’ll never see it again.