Before the Storm: Flood Prevention
Did you know? Flooding is North Carolina’s second most common natural hazard. Many wether agencies are reporting that floods and hurricanes are becoming more extreme with each passing year. The damage caused by these intense storms can ruin homes or entire communities for weeks, months or even years. With storms like Hurricane Dorian hurtling through North Carolina, it is important that you know how to prepare for flood damage as best you can before it happens.
One of the best ways to prepare for flooding is to elevate any electrical components. This includes sockets, switches and wiring. These sources should be elevated at least twelve inches above expected flood levels. By elevating these components, you are preventing a potential safety hazard during the recovery and restoration process after the storm has passed.
Another great way to prepare for flooding is to waterproof your basement. While this can be a greater investment into your home, it pays off greatly if you reside in a region that experiences flooding often. Additionally, a battery-operated backup generator is a great machine to consider adding to your home incase of a power outage during a storm.
Moving your furniture and valuables to a safe area is an important step in the preparation process. Consider storing important documents like birth certificates and insurance policies in waterproof boxes or sealed bags.
Above all, the safety of you and your family is the most critical step in the preparation process. If flooding does occur, be sure to call SERVPRO for all of your flood damage restoration needs. Our office is ready to start your recovery and restoration plan to make it “Like it never even happened.”
If you're in a building:
- Have a portable radio for weather alerts and updates nearby.
- Get to the lowest level of your home, such as a basement or storm cellar. If you don't have a basement, go to an inner hallway or a closet.
- Keep away from all windows and glass doorways.
- Do not use elevators because the power may turn-off, leaving you trapped inside.
- Cover your head and eyes with a blanket or jacket to protect against flying debris and broken glass.
- Keep pets on a leash or in a crate close by.
- Stay inside until you're certain the storm has passed!
- Do not leave a building to attempt to "escape" a tornado.
If you're in a mobile home:
- Do not stay in a mobile home during a tornado. Even mobile homes equipped with tie-down systems cannot withstand the force of a tornado's winds.
- Heed all local watches and warnings, and leave your mobile home to seek shelter as quickly as possible before a tornado strikes, preferably in a nearby building with a basement.
- If no shelter is immediately available, find the lowest-lying area near you and lie down in it, covering your head with your hands.
Flood Water Dangers!
Once flood waters set in you may be tempted to splash around and have a little fun in a seemingly hopeless situation. The water is here to stay a while so... why not?
Whatever you do, stay out of the water!
Flood water can be hazardous to your health even when properly vaccinated.
Flood waters can contain runoff from fields, bacteria from almost everywhere, and contaminants such as toxic chemicals (like gasoline or oil) or wastes (from animals and humans).
That is why in areas of the world where there is flooding from tsunamis, etc., those villages generally have a large outbreak of cholera, dysentery, and other water borne diseases.
And I haven’t even mentioned snakes yet! No one should ever treat flood waters like a stroll through your swimming pool. They are a health hazard, and can cause acute illnesses, particularly in children. You should never let your children play in flood water.
Here are some of the top reasons to stay out of flood water:
- Raw Sewage- Raw sewage is germ infested and could contain disease causing micro-organisms including but not limited to E Coli, Giardia, Cryptosporidium, Hepatitis A Cholera and more! Open cuts and wounds can become severely infected by contaminated water.
- Sharp and Dangerous Objects- Flood water picks up everything in its path and is generally murky and muddy. Sharp and dangerous objects pose potential risks as they are hidden from site and can puncture the skin.
- Hidden Rocks, Ditches and Potholes- Hidden rocks, ditches and potholes may cause you to lose your footing and fall.
- Storm Drains, Storm Pipes and Manholes- During a flood, as water recedes, storm drains storm pipes and manholes become powerful suction devices that can sweep away a child even an adult in an instant!
Keep your family safe. When water is on the rise remind them that though it looks tempting to play in, that it is important to stay out of the water as much as possible.
If for any reason you have no choice but to come in contact with flood water be sure to wash everything as thoroughly as possible.