Flooding Safety Measures
Flooding can affect different geographic areas in varying ways. In Central Illinois, flooding can be defined as anything from “a little too much rain” to “up to your knees in water.” It’s important to know how to stay safe for the best or worst case scenario. That said, the following are tips from varying reliable sources on how to prepare for and stay safe during a flood.
Preparation is key:
- Know how to shut off the electricity and gas to your house in a flood event.
- Make a list of emergency numbers and identify a safe place to go make a household inventory, especially of basement contents.
- Put insurance policies, valuable papers, medicine, etc. in a safe and accessible place.
- Collect and put cleaning supplies, camera, waterproof boots, important documents, etc. in a handy place.
- Talk with your family about what to do if a flood watch or warning is issued. Discussing floods ahead of time helps reduce fear, especially for younger children.
- Make sure you have access to NOAA radio broadcasts - Purchase a battery-powered or hand-crank radio
- Find out if you are located in a floodplain, which is considered a Special Flood Hazard Area. If so, you are still eligible for flood insurance.
- Find out if local streams or rivers flood easily.
- Prepare a pet emergency kit for your companion animals.
- If you live in a floodplain, elevate and reinforce your home to make damage less likely during a flood.
- Install check valves in plumbing to prevent water backups. Construct barriers such as levees, berms, and floodwalls. Seal walls in basements with waterproofing compounds. Use sandbags when flooding is expected.
- Know types of flood risk in your area. ( FEMA’s Flood Map Service Center )
- Sign up for your community’s warning system.
- The Emergency Alert System (EAS)
- National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
- Weather Radio also provides emergency alerts.
- Learn and practice evacuation routes, shelter plans, and flash flood response.
- Protect your property. Move valuables to higher levels. Declutter drains and gutters. Install check valves. Consider a sump pump with a battery.
Preparation is only the first step to action. When the time calls for action:
- Turn off the power and water mains if instructed to do so.
- Boil tap water until any boil order is lifted.
- Flood water may be contaminated by a number of things - avoid contact with it and avoid food that has come into contact with the water.
- Stay tuned in to radio stations for updates.
- Don’t use flooded gas or electrical appliances.
- If told to evacuate, do so immediately. If it’s too late, do not walk, swim, or drive through flood waters.
- Go on the roof only if necessary. Once there, signal for help.
These tips will keep you and your loved ones safe in case of a flood. If you have any other questions do some research or contact your local safety teams for more answers.
When the flood has subsided, you can contact SERVPRO® of North Central Tazewell County for the cleaning and restoration of your home or business. 309-346-5600
You can also contact:
SERVPRO® of Peoria - 309-637-7300
SERVPRO® of Galesburg and Macomb - 309-342-0073