With the deadly hurricane behind us, the importance of being prepared for emergency cannot be overstated. We must educate ourselves on how to prepare for flood disaster. Here are some tips for people to know as to how to cope with floods.
First important thing is to avoid the flood water. It is highly contaminated and can cause infection. On no account you should drink it or come in contact with it. If somebody has been exposed to flood water, you should seek medical help immediately.
Flood waters can make buildings unsafe. They can cause structural damage which may not be very apparent. Therefore, avoid staying in or being near buildings with flood waters around them. It is even possible that the building may collapse. Further, flood waters can cause damage to electrical circuits, water and gas pipelines. Therefore, you should avoid such buildings until the local authorities have declared them safe.
Do not be in a hurry to get back to your house which has undergone flood damage. Naturally, you would be anxious to find out about the damage in your house and try to repair it. However, such buildings sometimes need professional clean up before you can move in. Further, you need to keep yourself informed of the local weather and forecasts for more rains, storms etc.
Even after the local authorities have declared the area safe, you need to be cautious. Don’t be in a hurry to reoccupy the house. First, you must examine the house carefully to check for any damage to the foundation and the structure. Examine the doors, windows and walls carefully to check for damages.
- You should bring a battery operated flashlight as the electrical connection may be switched off or damaged. You should also avoid smoking as there might be gas leak.
- You need to check the electrical line, gas line and the sewage line. Check for any burnt or frayed wires. If you notice any spark or burning smell calls for help immediately after turning off the power.
- You should also look and smell for gas leak. This can be a big fire hazard and therefore, you should not light matches without ensuring that there is no leakage. Call the gas company if you suspect trouble.
- You also need to check for sewage lines. Do not use the toilet or drink water from tap without first checking for damages which may have contaminated water. Call the water company for help if required.