During periods of heavy rainfall and storms, flooding becomes a very real risk, particularly for properties on low-lying land or land that is near a river or the sea. Flooding can cause serious damage to properties and can even cost people their lives, so it’s important to know what to do if your home, town or the roads near where you live become flooded.
If there has been a flood warning, you should have the time to move valuable possessions upstairs or to the attic to keep them safe from the water. If the local authorities issue an evacuation order, leave as soon as possible to ensure that you and your family get away safely before the roads become flooded. If you have been advised to stay indoors or did not leave your house on time, move everyone in the house (and any pets) upstairs or to the attic where the water won’t be able to reach you.
Gas and Electricity
Turn off the gas and the electricity, if you have time, to prevent any gas leaks or electrical accidents. Do not touch any sources of electricity if you are standing in flood water. Avoid entering still bodies of water outdoors or on your property if possible, as they could conceal hazards such as open manholes or submerged electrical wires.
Driving in flood waters is incredibly dangerous, however shallow the water may look, as just two feet of water is enough to cause a car to float. Likewise, don’t walk into water if you can avoid it as six inches of moving water can be enough to knock a person off his or her feet. Plus, many of the injuries sustained during and after storms or flooding are the result of people standing on nails, glass and other sharp debris hidden by flood waters.
Updates on Flooding
Be sure to tune into your local radio station during and after a storm or flooding as it will keep you updated on the actions of the emergency services, the extent of flooding and power cuts, as well as giving you advice on how to stay safe.
In the aftermath of flooding, you may need to get in the professionals to pump waterlogged land or to pump your septic tank, if flood waters have caused water to back up into your septic tank and your internal plumbing.
Flooding can cause considerable damage to homes and belongings, but you can minimise the damage by taking preventative action as soon as you get a flood warning. More importantly, flooding can cause serious injury and even death, so make your own safety and the safety of your family your top priority in times of flooding.
This article was written by Gary Coleman who works with the emergency services and also has experience of using a pump station in the wake of flooding.