Flood Preparedness Safety Checklist
It seems that a rainstorm can strike at any time in South Florida. Sunny mornings followed by stormy afternoons are the norm here. We know all too well that treacherous weather can quickly lead to flooded streets and homes.
Did you know that floods are the most common natural disaster in the United States? The first step in preparedness is understanding weather terminology. For example, a watch indicates that flooding conditions could happen in your area while a warning means that flooding conditions are already occurring or will occur soon.
Be prepared before the storm hits
- Stock up on drinking water. As we are aware, storms can cause unsafe drinking water conditions. Because of this, prepare ahead of time with one gallon of water per person per day. Don’t forget to also have enough water for your pets.
- Have an emergency plan. Make sure that your family is ready with a communication procedure, a plan for taking care of the family pets and a kit that includes first aid supplies, flashlights, batteries and nonperishable food.
- Secure important documents. When a storm passes, the last thing you want to be looking for is health, auto or home insurance information. Store these documents in a designated space in a waterproof container.
Tips to stay safe before, during and after storms
- When stormy weather is imminent, get to higher ground.
- Stay off the roads. Wet roads are dangerous. Also, streets can flood quickly so it’s best to avoid driving.
- If you must leave your home, use extra caution at night when it’s harder to see roads.
- Don’t let children or pets play in puddles or flooded areas. Injuries from contaminated water and downed electrical lines can easily be avoided by using extra precautions.
- Check local news for information on water safety and be sure your area is not under a boil water order.
- Wear protective gear during cleanup, including rubber boots and gloves.
- Do not touch downed electrical, cable or phone lines. Cables can easily be confused and just because they are down doesn’t mean they aren’t live. Instead, report them to the appropriate companies.
- If you smell gas or hear a hissing noise, immediately leave the area and call the fire department.
By being prepared and exercising caution, you and your family can stay safe this storm season. Remember that we don’t need to be under tropical storm or hurricane conditions for bad weather to occur. Flash flood storms are highly dangerous and should be treated as such.
For more safety tips all year long, please visit our website at PanterLaw.com.
National Flood Insurance Program, “Preparation & Recovery,” FloodSmart.gov
Red Cross, “Flood Safety Checklist,” RedCross.com, http://www.redcross.org/images/MEDIA_CustomProductCatalog/m4340128_Flood.pdf