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How to Prepare for Floods and Stay Safe When They Occur

by Alana Gibbs on September 06, 2022

How Do You Plan and Prepare Before and During a Flood?

Flooding is a natural disaster that can occur anywhere in the world, and Australia is no exception. In fact, flash floods are one of the most common natural disasters to hit the country. We've seen devastating floods and life threatening emergencies in NSW and Queensland far too recently.

Floods can happen anywhere at any time. In fact, just six inches of flash flooding can create levee failure. If you live in an area that is prone to floods, it is important to be prepared for them.

In this article, we will discuss how to prepare for floods and how to stay safe when they occur. We will also provide tips on what to do if you are affected by a flood.

Not so fun fact: Floods are one of the most common natural disasters in the United States. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), floods cause more than $500 million in damage each year. 

 

flooding

How To Prepare For Floods?

Floods can occur suddenly and without warning. This is why it is important to be prepared for them. Being prepared can mean the difference between life and death during a flood emergency. Make sure that you are ready and have a flood plan even if your property isn't in a typical flood prone area!

 

How To Prepare For Floods & Stay Safe When They Occur

Flood preparedness starts long before flood events actually happen. When it comes to preparing for a flood, the most important thing you can do is to make a survival plan. This plan should include what you will do in the event of a flood, where you will go, and how you will get there. Determine which areas nearby have higher ground.

 

Determine Your Evacuation Routes

It is also important to have an evacuation route planned out in advance. Make sure that everyone in your family knows the plan and understands what they need to do if emergency services enable a flood warning.

Most local councils in Australia have a lot of important resources to help you with your planning, so check out their websites for more specific local information. 

It is also a good idea to practice your evacuation route so that everyone in your family knows what to do and where to go if they have to evacuate quickly.

 

Sandbag

Sandbags can be used to reduce the impact of flooding on your home. They may not stop the flow of water completely, but they will definitely reduce the flow to your home. You can either buy sandbags at your local hardware store or make your own DIY sandbags. 

flooding-sandbags

Have An Emergency Bag

In addition to having a survival plan and sandbags, there are some other things you should do in order to prepare for a flood.

You should always have an emergency kit ready in case of a flood. Your emergency kit should include food, water, first aid supplies, and a flashlight. 

Below is a list of the items we recommend you add to your emergency kit, and you will find most of these in our Betty B Ready survival kit. We recommend packing enough items to last you at least 72 hours.

 

prepa-betty-b-ready-emergency-bag

  

Emergency Kit Checklist

Firstly, we recommend that you use a waterproof bag to protect all of the emergency supplies inside.

Personal Documents & Important Documents

  • Most of our information such as insurance documents are now stored online, however its common in natural disasters to not have access to them due to loss of electricity and internet signal. We recommend to include these and any important government information, birth certificates, passports and anything else that would be a huge pain to have to replace.
     

Warmth & Light

  • Stormproof matches
  • Snap-lights
  • Candles
  • High power LED torch 
  • Mylar space blankets
  • Beanie

Tools

  • Utility bags
  • Signal Whistle
  • Emergency hand-crank portable radio
  • Carbon steel knife 
  • Flint fire-starter
  • Multi-tool pliers + driver bits
  • Paracord rope
  • Duct tape

 

Food & Water

It's really important to pack non-perishable food that can last you for at least 72 hours. If you have no access to power, ideally the food is easy to open and doesn't require cooking.

  • Water purification tablets
  • Water bottles filled with water 
  • Calorie ration bars with long shelf life
  • Emergency drinking water pouch

Protection

  • Rain ponchos
  • Safety sunglasses
  • Work gloves
  • Survival tarpaulin (With heat reflective lining)
  • KN95 95% Filter Masks
  • Antibacterial wipes
  • Sunscreen (SPF 50+)
  • Insect repellant

 

First Aid Kit

What should I put in my first aid kit? Click here to find a full list of items we recommend in a first aid kit. 

 

Other

Some other essential items to consider include personal hygiene items, sanitary items, toilet paper, spare batteries, pet food, spare mobile phone preloaded with emergency numbers. You may also want to consider a backup power source such as a portable generator.

An of course, in times of heavy rainfall, it's important to have access to spare clothes.

 

Stay Informed

It is also a good idea to stay informed with the latest essential services, state and local government council flood information and resources. Make sure you're aware of flood risk areas and evacuation centres. The best way to be on flood watch is to sign up for alerts from your local authorities and to stay engaged with your local community.

 

Stay Safe

If a flood does occur, there are certain things you should do to stay safe and avoid medical emergency.

-Avoid walking or driving through flood waters. The water may be deeper than it appears and can sweep you away.

-If you must walk through flood waters, make sure to wear sturdy shoes and protective clothing including long pants to protect your skin from debris.

-Avoid touching electrical equipment or wires as they may be live.

-If your home is affected by a flood or rushing water, there are certain things you should do to clean up the damage and avoid health hazards.

-Throw away any food that has come into contact with flood waters.

-Wash all of your clothes and bedding in hot water. If you have any electronics that were damaged by the flood, you should take them to a professional for repairs.

Floods can be devastating, but if you are prepared for them, you can minimise the damage. By following the tips in this blog post, you will be able to stay safe and protect your property during a flood.

Our Betty B. Reddy comprehensive kit is designed to assist by providing useful tools to you get through unexpected events. Use around the home, or take it with you if you need to leave the house in a hurry.

If you have any questions about preparing for or staying safe during a flood, please feel free to contact us. We are always happy to help!

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