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Flooding: Tips on how to be prepared

Floods are one of the most common hazards in the United States.  (Source: MGN) Floods are one of the most common hazards in the United States. (Source: MGN)

(RNN) - Between the large amounts of snow due to melt and the approaching severe weather season bringing chances of torrential rain, it's important to be prepared now in case of flooding. According to Ready.gov, floods are one of the most common hazards in the United States and not all are alike. Here are a few tips on how to be prepared for a flood before, during and after.

Before

  • Get flood insurance. Standard homeowners insurance doesn't cover flooding. The lower the flood risk, the lower the flood insurance premium will be.
  • Make a family communication plan. Ready.gov has a family communication plan for parent and kids for advance preparation on how to get to a safe place, how to contact one another and how the family will get back together.
  • Build an emergency kit. It's important to have food, water and other supplies to last your family at least 72 hours. Your supply kit should also contain items that will help your family manage just in case basic services like electricity, gas, water and sewage are cut off.
  • Unless your family has elevated and reinforced floors in the home, avoid building a floodplain.
  • The eclectic panel, water heater, and the furnace should be elevated if you live in a high flood risk area.
  • Consider constructing barriers to stop floodwater from entering the home and waterproof the walls in the basement.
  • Install check valves in your home to prevent flooding form backed up drains.

During

  • Listen to the weather radio or television for weather updates and information.
  • Be aware of areas near the home that are known to flood.
  • If told to do so, turn off utilities, disconnect electric appliances and do not touch any electrical equipment if you are wet or standing in water.
  • Bring in any outside furniture, and move inside items to an upper floor.
  • Do not park your car around rivers or creeks.
  • Do not drive in flooded areas.
  • Do not walk through moving water.
  • Move to higher ground if flash flooding occurs.

After

  • Get local information as soon as it's available.
  • Stay away from damaged areas unless being assisted by relief officials.
  • Help emergency workers by staying off the roads.
  • Return home only if authorities say it's safe.
  • Be aware of damaged roads. They may have weakened and could collapse under the weight of a car.
  • Hidden damage may have occurred in buildings, particularly in the foundation, use caution when entering.
  • Listen to local news to see if the water supply is safe. Floodwater may contain oil, gas or raw sewage.
  • Repairing your home after flood can be dangerous. Ready.gov has a book that includes way to clean up and repair your home after a flood.
  • Contact Red Cross in your area for information and emotional support.

Copyright 2014 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.

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