Flooding is a common, natural hazard. If you happen to live in an area prone to flash floods, you should prepare well in case there’s a storm coming. It is not a secret that weather changes are getting more and more dramatic. Because of the weather’s unpredictability and man-made structures, areas which did not flood before are already flooding now.
If you are in an area that floods or could flood, you should take note of the following safety and survival tips:

1. Imminent flooding
• Bring your outdoor furniture inside, to your upper floor.
• Make sure to pack an emergency bag in the likelihood of evacuation.
• Do not waste time in evacuating if you’re told to do so.
• Move to higher ground in case of possible flash floods
• Turn off your breaker and your utilities if you are told to do so.
• Be certain to disconnect all your appliances.

2. During the flood
• Never walk through any depth of moving water. (Even 15 centimeters or 6 inches of moving water can possibly make you fall.
• Choose an area where water is a bit still if you have to walk in floodwater. Find a stick or a cane to check the ground’s firmness underwater before you step in.
• Once you’re standing in floodwater, never touch any electrical equipment.
• Never drive into areas that are flooded. If you find yourself driving into flooded areas. Leave the car once the floodwater starts rising around your vehicle and move safely to higher ground.

3. After the flooding
• Stay away from floodwaters because:
o The water may be corrupted by raw sewage, oil, or gasoline
o Electricity may be running through the water (damaged power lines, underground cables)
o Listen to reports about your area’s water supply

4. Prevent any flood damage. Here are some tips to prevent any significant damage or loss from any possible flooding:
• Do not choose a flood-prone area as a residential or business location
• Seal and waterproof your basement walls
• Listen to TV or radio for flood information
• Build barriers (floodwalls, levees, and beams) around your property
• Know that a flood warning means that the flood will happen soon or is already occurring and a floor watch means that there is a possibility that your area has a possibility of getting flooded.
• Avoid any moving body of water
• Stay away from structures surrounded by floodwater
• Avoid and report downed power lines
• Be careful when you drive or walk in areas where floodwaters have already receded because the ground could collapse. (The floodwater could have already weakened the ground.)
• Return home only when you are informed you are safe
• Have your septic or cesspool systems to prevent any overflows or contaminations during the flood
• Clean and disinfect after the flood

Flooding may be a common natural calamity, but you and your loved ones can sty safe if you stay vigilant and prudent.

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