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flood preparedness

  • 7 Things You Should Do Following a Flood

    Flooded House following a floodFlooding can be a scary, dangerous disaster, and if not dealt with swiftly and properly after the fact, you could be in for even more lingering effects. It is recommended to bring your home back into good repair as soon as you can, so as to protect your health (such as from mold) as well as preventing further damage.

    But how do you do that? Great question. Let’s dive in (pun intended) and learn more about what you should do following a flood. Floodsmart.gov has many great suggestions, some of which we’ll be looking at in this article.


    Take Pictures

    While you will probably want to share your experience on social media, the pictures you take of the damages can - and should - be used by your insurance company when processing your claims. So before you start cleaning out and clearing up, make sure you photograph the mess your home is in, or else risk losing out on some coverage.


    Stay Healthy

    Floodsmart.gov recommends boiling all water for drinking and cooking until local authorities deem your water supply is safe. Because flood water can bring in a host of contaminates (including sewage, muck, and other things you don’t want in your system), you’ll want to make sure you have a way to treat your water before drinking it. Otherwise, be prepared to get a lot of bottled water from the store.

    Since flood water can be super nasty, it’s best to wear rubber boots to keep the water away from your skin. Likewise, wear gloves and other protective clothing while working to clear your house of leftover water and debris.


    Keep Power Off

    If you’re wading around in your flooded home, the last thing you want is to be zapped by a live current. Turn your power off and you’ll be just fine.


    Remove Wet Contents Immediately

    Mold grows quicklyFlooded Stuff following a flood, so make sure you get rid of all your wet belongings to avoid as much as possible. Washing walls and floor will also help keep mold out. Unfortunately, in order to clean floors, you might have to tear it out and replace it. But that’s better than leaving a flooded floor inside and having mold grow underneath it, which will cause health problems later on.


    File an Insurance Claim

    This goes without saying, but you need to have a flood insurance policy before you can actually file a claim. And remember, that policy needs to be purchased at least 30 days before a flood, or else the claim is void.


    Remove Water

    Wet Vac following a floodUnless you’re happy with your new built-in swimming pool, it’s time to remove the water from your home. Buckets are one way to bail out your home, but a more effective way is to use a sump pump. You can find these at most home supply stores. A wet vac is also necessary to dry up that water, which will also help reduce mold growth.


    Avoid Flooded Water

    WINDSOR, UK - 11 FEBRUARY following a flood

    Lastly, avoid flood water in streets, yards, or anywhere else. Dangerous debris can harm you. If you get cut while standing in that water the dirty, deadly contaminants and organisms can creep in to your wound and infect it, compromising your health. Flood waters may also continue to have a strong current, and even shallow water can sweep you off your feet. So be very careful around flood waters.



    Floods are the most common disaster in the United States and can be very dangerous and devastating. Make sure you know what to do following a flood before it happens, so when it does come you can go right to work.


    Disaster_Blog_Banner - following a flood

  • Hurricane Sandy: One Year Later, Thousands Still Displaced

    Flooded house after heavy rain in the evening sunlight.

    “For Kathryn Fitzgerald and her young daughter, Megan, home was a modest three-bedroom house…on a tightly packed segment of Delaware Avenue two blocks from the Atlantic Ocean. That was the only home that Megan had ever known, until Hurricane Sandy hit and a rank mixture of floodwater and untreated sewage rose to chest-high in the lower level of the house.

    “Since then, they have lived in rental apartments and Megan, now 9, attended an unfamiliar school in another town for a while as her mother appealed for enough aid to rebuild the life they had…

    “More than a year after one of the country’s largest-ever disaster recovery efforts began, Ms. Fitzgerald is among the more than 30,000 residents of New York and New Jersey who remain displaced by the storm, mired in a bureaucratic and financial limbo.”


    Every year, big storms capture national attention with images of wild weather and large-scale destruction. But when the skies calm and the cameramen pack up and leave town, residents are left to the long, lonely process of returning to normal. Hurricane Sandy may be fading from popular consciousness; but for the victims, fourteen months into the recovery, the disaster is ongoing.

    Kathryn Fitzgerald is just one of a handful of displaced homeowners in the American Northeast interviewed recently by the New York Times—and her story is a representative and cautionary one. Victim after victim reports the difficulty of securing funds to rebuild, whether from government aid agencies or by other means.

    While we talk a lot about the immediate, life-sustaining preparations needed to weather extreme situations, sometimes the most important emergency preparation is financial. Read the full NYT article here to see what a tangled mess of red tape is holding up these people’s efforts to rebuild their lives. Then check out the links below to learn more about financial preparation for disasters. Finally, take another look at our blog post on flood preparedness to learn more about insurance options. Whether it's another storm like Hurricane Sandy, a sudden downpour that causes flooding like that in Colorado earlier this year, or another scenario altogether, you'll be so glad you've prepared in advance.


    New York Times article originally found via Instapundit.

  • Preparing for a "Once in a Lifetime" Flood or Storm


    Throughout the past few years, storms of all strengths and sizes have swept through the United States, leaving destruction in their wake.

    In October 2012, Hurricane Sandy killed over 100 Americans during her tirade. Those who survived were forced to continue on despite the destruction of thousands of homes, and the fact that millions were without power for weeks. Even still, a year after Hurricane Sandy exploded across the East Coast, 26,000 people are without homes.  In Sept. 2013, Colorado residents were shocked when a year's worth of rain poured down in just two days, causing flooding almost 200 miles wide. With these once-in-a-century storms that seem to be growing more frequent, what should you do? The answer: prepare.

    In fact, this is a lesson that one of Emergency Essentials’ founding partners, Don Pectol, learned as a boy living in California in the 1950’s. As a survivor of both a once-in-a-century and a once-in-a-thousand-year flood, Don (along with his family) learned a powerful lesson about the importance of emergency preparedness.

    In the Lessons Learned article “I Survived a Once in a Lifetime Flood Twice,” Don shares what he took away from those two devastating events:


    "The influence this flood had on me and my family was a powerful reminder of the principle of preparedness. We knew floods could happen where we lived, but not like this! We moved to higher ground. Higher ground is not just a physical location; it is also a state of mind and a way of life. Being prepared for emergencies is ‘moving to higher ground.’"


    Hear more of Don’s story straight from Don himself in this 30 second Emergency Essentials TV Spot:

    Don provides a great reminder that if you’re prepared, you’ll feel a sense of safety and security. Your levelheadedness and preparations before the storm could make all the difference for you and your family as you’re able to rely on yourself to provide for your most basic needs.

    When widespread emergencies (such as flooding and storms) occur, it's better to be able to rely on yourself when everyone else is relying on governments and relief agencies (who can take days—even weeks—to get set up). During Hurricane Sandy and the Colorado floods, relief resources were stretched thin because of the huge numbers of people relying on these agencies.  In widespread or large-scale emergencies, relief resources can run out quickly, leaving citizens on their own.

    We hope the possibility of these once-in-a-century storms gives you more incentive to start your preparations now, even if disasters haven’t increased in your area quite yet.

    For help getting prepared, check out the resources below.

    -          Start with a good emergency kit

    -          Checkout our emergency survival gear

    -          Look at emergency food and food storage options

    Learn how to prepare for a flood or hurricane.

    Read more about disaster preparedness on our Read First page, our blog, and our Insight Articles.











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