Flood Safety Tips
With several major natural disasters recently making national headlines, people all over America are taking the opportunity to increase their emergency preparedness. Floods are some of the most common and disastrous events that strike Massachusetts. Floods can develop in just minutes, causing millions of dollars in damage and endangering lives. There are steps you can take before, during, and after a flood to increase your safety. Use this tips list as a starting point for flood preparation in New England.
Pay Attention to Weather Reports
Most major floods come with some degree of warning. Weather experts can typically predict and track natural disasters that pose the risk of flooding in Massachusetts. Sometimes residents will have an hour or less to flee the path of a serious flood however. Tune into local news stations and watch weather reports during bad weather or pending storms. Sign up for text or email alerts to hear the latest news. Staying informed can give you the time you need to evacuate or prepare.
Construct Barriers to Protect Your Property
As soon as you hear reports of potential flooding, start prepping your home for the worst. Construct barriers such as beams and floodwalls if possible. In a pinch, you can line your property with sandbags instead. Barriers can prevent floodwaters from entering and damaging your home. Seal your basement with a waterproof compound to avoid leaks and seepage. If there’s no time to prepare your home, focus on what matters most – personal safety.
Prepare an Emergency Flood Kit
Keep an emergency flood kit in your home at all times. That way, you can cover your basic needs even with little to no warning of a flood. Your disaster kit should include bottled water, a first aid kit, a whistle, medications, non-perishable food, a battery-powered radio, extra clothing, and a flashlight. Keep your kit well stocked year round to be ready at any given moment. Make sure to include things for pets and children as necessary.
Create a Family Evacuation Plan
Planning ahead can make a considerable difference in how much a Boston flood affects your family. If a flood is likely in your area, create an evacuation plan for your family. Your plan should include getting all kids and pets together in a common area, grabbing your flood disaster kit, and moving to a safe location, such as a public shelter or a friend’s house on higher ground. Unplug all electrical appliances, and switch off utilities if your provider or community instructs you to do so. Make sure children know your flood plan and are prepared for a flash flood warning or watch.
Protect Yourself During a Flood
If the worst happens, evacuate your home immediately. Never walk through moving water, as you could lose your footing and fall. Even just six inches of moving water can be strong enough to cause falls. Do not leave pets tied up or unattended in your home. This could be a criminal offense during a natural disaster depending on city laws. Do not drive through flooded areas. Do not touch electrical equipment while in standing water. Relocate to a shelter or other safe place for the duration of the flood. Wait to return home until it is safe to do so.