As I've been keeping my eye the news, one story in particular stood out to me today. Over 100,000 residents living along the Susquehanna River in northeastern Pennsylvania are being asked to evacuate their homes by this evening. There is major flooding expected along the Susquehanna due to remnants of Tropical Storm Lee. Schools in many areas that could be impacted by overflowing rivers and heavy rains are being shut down and sections of interstates may also be closed due to the weather.
I have experienced a few floods but I've never been in a situation where they have necessitated an evacuation. Water is much more powerful and can cause more damage than it might seem. Here are some great tips I found on the FEMA website that are great for everyone to keep in mind since flooding can happen anywhere.
If a flood is likely in your area:
• Listen to the radio or television for information.
• Be aware that flash flooding can occur. If there is any possibility of a flash flood, move immediately to higher ground. Do not wait for instructions to move.
• Be aware of streams, drainage channels, canyons, and other areas known to flood suddenly. Flash floods can occur in these areas with or without such typical warnings as rain clouds or heavy rain.
If you must prepare to evacuate, you should do the following:
• Secure your home. If you have time, bring in outdoor furniture. Move essential items to an upper floor.
• Turn off utilities at the main switches or valves if directed to do so. Do not touch electrical equipment if you are wet or standing in water.
If you have to leave your home, remember these evacuation tips:
• Do not walk through moving water. Six inches of moving water can make you fall. If you have to walk in water, walk where the water is not moving. Use a stick to check the firmness of the ground in front of you.
• Do not drive into flooded areas. If flood waters rise around your car, abandon the car and move to higher ground if you can do so safely. You and the vehicle can be quickly swept away.
The following are important points to remember when driving in flood conditions:
• Six inches of water will reach the bottom of most passenger cars causing loss of control and possibly stalling.
• A foot of water will float many vehicles.
• Two feet of rushing water can carry away most vehicles including sport utility vehicles (SUV's) and pick-ups.
If you Replace yourself in one of the areas that is expecting flooding in the next couple of days, keep these tips in mind and do what you can stay safe.
For more information on preparing for a flood, click here for an insight article written about flood preparedness.
Something else to be aware of is that it you live in an older home and water manages to get into an inside wall your light switches with metal switchplates may not be grounded. When you touch them you can get a horrible shock because you become the ground. Look at the interior walls for swelling which would indicate that water has come in. This can happen during severe storms that may blow off shingles allowing water to enter the walls.
Would you be able to write something on first aid kit and some useful tips to save someone who is seriously injured before paramedics arrive.
I think the most important two things to remember regarding flooding is to heed the authorities warnings and not to overestimate the power of flood water.
It is becoming so obvious that no matter where we live or what our circumstances, we must be prepared for the unexpected as we as the possible.