A flood is one of the more destructive natural disasters that can hit an area, and unfortunately, there is not always much warning before one strikes. That’s why it is imperative you understand what to do when one hits so that you know how to prepare for a flood to minimize the destruction to your home and belongings, which can save you a lot of money and stress in the process.
Know what you’re dealing with
Before you can begin to prepare your home for any wet eventualities, it’s essential to know if your local area is at high risk for flood, and what areas to avoid when the rain starts to fall.
Check your local council for flood plans and records and note any areas near your house that could be more prone to floodings, such as rivers or banks.
If you think that your home is at a low elevation then check your insurance policy to make sure you’re covered for any soggy eventualities.
Policies can often take a month to change so don’t leave it to the last minute if you’re concerned – it’s always better to be prepared before disaster strikes.
Prepare an emergency kit that can be kept safely in your house for if a flood hits.
Fill it with resources such as batteries, a first aid kit, money, blankets and, more importantly than anything, enough food and water for however many people reside in your house.
Canned food is great as it is cheap, easy to stack won’t have to be replaced within your kit if it remains unused – don’t forget a can opener too!
Don’t forget about the kids!
The panic and stress of disasters like a flood can often be a confusing and scary time for children.
You need to make sure that they, along with everyone else in your house, knows, without fail, the spots you have designated for everyone to meet in an emergency.
Sticking up contact numbers in the kitchen where even little legs can reach and taking the time to ensure that they know how to use the phone and what to say in an emergency is also a great way to make sure that your children will be safe even if you’re not there to help them or give them your full attention.
What to do in your house when water hits
There are so many simple things you can do in your house, just before the water hits, that will save you so much money and upset down the line.
The most important thing you need to make sure you have done is to protect important documents and valuables in a waterproof case that can be kept somewhere safe from water.
Roll up any rugs and move any furniture and electrical items above the expected water level.
Not only will this protect your furniture from expensive or irreparable damage, but it will also make it safer for you to walk around your house later without the same worry over extreme debris or electrics mixing with the damp.
It would help if you also placed sandbags on any open drain, such as in the toilet or shower, to prevent sewage from overflowing – this will save you a pretty penny, and any unsightly stains or smells post-flood.
Humans Aren’t the Only Ones That Have to Deal With The Flood
If you’re going to leave your house for higher ground when the flood begins, don’t forget about any pets you own too.
If at all possible, take your animals with you in portable pet carriers when you relocate to higher ground so they can be kept in your company and out of the water – they are in as much, if not more, danger than humans when it comes to floods and they will be scared and confused if left behind.
Don’t forget to pack containers of animal food, medications, and water to take with you; it’s an easy thing to forget, but it’s essential nonetheless.
If you have the foresight to prepare for incoming flood hours in advance then it could be an excellent idea to bring something that could soothe your concerned pet – may be a favorite toy or blanket.
If you decide to stay home rather than move to higher ground, then take them with you to the highest point of the house and be patient with them if they’re scared – they don’t understand what’s going on and some kind words and belly scratches could make all the difference.
What to do when water hits
The most important thing you have to do Is get to the highest ground possible, whether that be the attic of your own home or a naturally high point away from your house and the water.
But before you find your shelter, take a moment to think about the home you’ll eventually return to and turn off all the electricity and gas throughout your property so it’s as safe as possible when you next step through the threshold.
Remember to stay out of the water as much as you can and enforce the same rule for your children and pets – it’s not safe to drink or play in and could contain any number of chemicals, waste, poisons, or bacteria.
Ultimately, when it comes to floods, there are some damages that are simply out of our hands – but with a good injection of common sense and a prepared household, there are so many expenses and concerns that you can save yourself from – something you will be very much happy you did when the bills start rolling in.
If you ever need a hand or have a question, feel free to leave them below and I will be more than happy to help you out.
All the best,