Things We Should Never Do In The Event Of A Flood

By Carole 8 months ago

1. Don't Stay in a Flood-Prone Area

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When you live in a flood-prone area, this means you are at risk of experiencing a flood and the risk is unfortunately high.  You need to always be prepared for having the content of your home swimming in murky water.  Work out a plan in place to evacuate to higher ground if a warning is issued.

2. Don't Ignore Evacuation Orders

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The authorities issue evacuation orders for a reason.  They aren't being paranoid in case a flood may occur.  They will have up to date knowledge on what is likely to happen and their job is to protect you and your area.  If you are asked to leave and not return until advised, always comply.

3. Don't Forget About Your Animals

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When you are in a panic to leave your property, take a breath and remember to take the absolute essentials if you can. These include your passport and legal documents - and your pet.  Leaving livestock or pets behind during a flood is inhumane.  Also, it may not be safe to return to rescue them at a later date.

4. Don't Forget About Prescription Medications

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In a flood, it's absolutely crucial for you to have a supply of your essential, or even life saving medications, to hand.  If you are cut off from accessing healthcare resources that's a disaster in itself.  Keep all your prescription medications in a waterproof wallet, ready to pick up and take with you.

5. Don't Leave Important Documents Behind

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Losing important documentation such as insurance policies and passports can complicate and hold up recovery efforts once you are back in your property and trying your best to get the property in order.  Protect your paperwork by storing it in waterproof containers.

6. Never Drive Through Floodwaters

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You might feel like biting the bullet and getting away from the flooded area as quickly as possible. DON'T get into your car and attempt to drive through the flooded roads as it could be extremely dangerous.  Be aware that even shallow water can impair a vehicle's control.  Rapidly moving water can sweep a vehicle away easily.

7. Never Walk Through Floodwaters

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So you think you are being sensible by not jumping into your station wagon to flee the rising water. You decide to chance it by foot but this is not good.  Flood waters can hide  sharp debris and open manholes, Wading through them can lead to injuries and if there is flowing sewage, a risk of illness as well.

8. Don't Stay in a Vehicle in Fast-Rising Water

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You are understandably scared at leaving your vehicles if you get caught up in a flood.  It can happen so quickly and it's frightening to say the least.  It's not safe to shelter in a car as the vehicle can be carried away by the current, putting any occupant at risk of drowning.

9. Never Ignore Signs of Hypothermia

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Hypothermia can be a killer and you might not even realise you are suffering.  During cold flood waters, you can get soaked to the skin and the elderly, in particular, find it difficult to keep warm. Layer up, dry off any exposed areas and look for somewhere safe to keep warm.

10. Don't Use Candles in a Flooded Home

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If there is gas or any other flammable substances lurking in the flood water, a naked flame could run a fire risk.  When you're wanting some form of light, the only option might appear to be a candle but don't be tempted to go down that road.  You could have another disaster on your hands.

11. Don't Stay in a Basement

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It's a fact that basements can flood quickly and become death traps if you are caught down there, trying to stay safe from the torrent of water flowing through your home.  The rule of thumb during a flooding situation is to evacuate to higher ground as early as possible.

12. Don't Wait for Emergency Services in Dangerous Situations

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It can be risky to rely purely on the emergency services to rescue you from a flooded area, particularly if conditions are rapidly deteriorating. Check if you can evacuate safely and rather than stay put, running the risk of getting trapped, get yourself out and into safety.

13. Never Ignore Weather Alerts

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Weather warnings and alerts provide crucial information regarding flood risks. They should be taken seriously as ignoring them leaves you unaware and unprepared for possible danger.  Once you get the warning, act upon it, grab absolute essentials and keep them close to you in case you need to make a swift exit.

14. Don't Enter Flooded Buildings

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Flood waters will weaken structures and can easily hide dangers inside buildings. Even if you really want to, stay out of flooded structures until the professionals have surveyed them and deemed them safe.  We get it that you might want to get in to retrieve something important, but your life counts for more than that.

15. Don't Touch Electrical Equipment

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Two things that definitely do not mix is electrical equipment and water.  Avoid, at all costs, touching anything electrical that's in a flooded area or you run the risk of electrocution.  Make sure any younger members of the property are aware of this danger.

16. Never Stay Near Rivers or Streams

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As flood waters in streams and rivers can rise rapidly and have unexpectedly strong currents, staying close to them can expose you to fast moving water and big pieces of broken off debris. Getting yourself to higher ground must be your priority as situations can go downhill quickly.

17. Don't Assume Shallow Water is Safe

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There's often an assumption that shallow water is safe but take it from us, appearances can be deceiving. Strong currents and dangerous obstacles are two danger elements.  Also, shallow water can suddenly lead to a deeper flow so this being the case, don't tread even low levels unless you have no other option.

18. Don't Climb on Roofs

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We've talked about getting to higher ground to stay safe from floods but climbing up onto the roof is dangerous. Structures can become loose and unsafe so the advice is to only go up there as a last resort and we mean when there are no other safe options available.

19. Don't Use Flooded Toilets or Drains

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This is a tricky one. Human nature will undoubtedly mean you will need to use the bathroom in your home during flooding. By using the toilet, you can contaminate your water supply which will then pose a health risk if sewage is present in the rising water.

20. Don't Stay in Mobile Homes

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Mobile homes are one of the structures that can cause all manner of issues during floods.  If you reside in one, get out and evacuate to a safer location as soon as you think your safety is in jeopardy.  Mobile homes are vulnerable and can be swept away in a strong current.

21. Never Try to Outrun a Flood on Foot

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Not only should you never attempt to outrun a flood but you shouldn't try to go out in it.  We get you may be unbearably stressed but it's going to be worse out in the elements.  As it's easy to misjudge both the depth and movement of floodwaters, it could be deeper than you think.

22. Never Cross Floodwaters with Children

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Of course, your biggest concern is going to be to get your children to a safe place during flooding. Your thinking might not be as clear as usual due to the stress of it all but carrying children through flood waters is risky. Seek rescue assistance for everyone's safety.

23. Don't Disobey Road Closures

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Road closures are there for a reason and not put in place to purposely disrupt the area.  Exactly the opposite - they are to protect you from dangerous conditions and by disobeying the instruction, this can lead to someone becoming stranded or have an accident.

24. Don't Wait Too Long to Evacuate

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Delaying evacuation because you think the situation is not going to be life threatening could be a bad decision.  It could lead to difficulty in finding a safe route as the water levels rise and the roads become impassable. Evacuate early on to ensure your safety.

25. Don't Disobey Instructions from First Responders

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During a flood and possible danger as a result, always listen carefully to first responders.  They may make a loudspeaker announcement and as they are trained to handle emergencies, you must follow their directions to ensure your safety and the safety of your community.

26. Don't Rely Solely on Cell Phones

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We rely on our cell phones pretty much throughout the day and go into panic mode if we go outside and forget them.  A word of warning - cell phone networks can fail during a disaster such as flooding.  Be prepared and have alternative communication methods such as a battery-powered weather radio, so you can stay informed.

27. Don't Ignore the Psychological Impact

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Both the emotional and psychological impact of a flood can have a significant and detrimental effect on a person.  If this rings a bell with you, be brave and seek support and help if you need it.  You will have been through trauma and stress that has knocked the stuffing out of you.

28. Don't Expect Immediate Assistance

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Although you will be stressed up to the hilt, be mindful that first responders are likely to be overwhelmed and it could take time for assistance to arrive. Try and stay calm, be patient and be prepared to wait. Responders are experienced and will get to you as soon as they can.

29. Never Assume You Can Swim in Floodwaters

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If you are tempted to wade into flood waters, don’t. You risk your immediate safety as well as health hazards.  Flood water will contain bacteria and parasites, making you ill.  Going into the water for fun is an even worse idea. Even strong swimmers can get swept away.

30. Don't Disregard Community Resources

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You will find that local communities provide emergency shelter during floods. Don't disregard this service and utilise the resources they offer when you are evacuating, especially if you have nowhere safe to go. These shelters offer food, support, warmth and safety.

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