Floods are the most common natural disaster in the United States. They can happen with little to no warning, developing slowly or quickly as the result of rain, coastal storms, storm surges, or the overflow of dams or water systems. Floods can cause power outages, damage buildings and properties, create landslides, and even disrupt transportation.
Getting caught in a flooded area, ignoring evacuation orders, or entering flood waters can be extremely dangerous, causing injury or even death. If you’re under a flood warning, you need to find safe shelter immediately. Here is more information that will help you prepare for a flood warning.
Make a Plan
Unlike most other weather emergencies where you will shelter-in-place at home, flood warnings will require you to find shelter elsewhere. Sign up for emergency alerts so you will not miss out on early flood warnings, giving you and your family enough time to evacuate. Learn and practice the evacuation routes from your home and other places in your community you frequent and may need to evacuate from, like work or school buildings. Then identify safe places to shelter in or around your community. If you have friends or family outside of your flood zone, make a plan to shelter with them. If you do not, locate community shelters and know how to access them in an emergency.
Build a To-Go Emergency Supply Kit
This kit will be similar to the one you may have already prepared and stored in your home, but for floods it needs to be quickly accessible and taken on-the-go. The CDC recommends having at least 3 days’ worth of supplies. Include non-perishable foods that don’t need a lot of preparation to be eaten, utensils, and at least one gallon of water per day per person and pet in your household. Include cleaning and hygiene supplies, any medication necessary for family members, a change of clothes, and even pillows or blankets.
Consider a Portable Generator
You’ll want to keep your family feeling safe and secure while sheltering, and you’ll want to stay up-to-date on the latest news regarding your situation. If you’re in a public shelter it can be hard to find access points to charge or power your devices, or worse, flood waters elsewhere can affect the electrical power of the shelter. With a portable power source like the HomePower ONE, you can charge your phone or laptop, connect a router, and even power other devices like a breast pump or medical equipment.
Prepare Your Home
Before evacuating, you’ll want to ensure that your home is as protected as it can be. Always store important documents and irreplaceable items in a water- and fire-proof container, like a safe. Keep other valuables on the highest level of your home and make digital copies that can only be accessed with a password. You can install a battery-powered sump pump to decrease the levels of water that may be able to flood your home. Finally, purchase or renew flood insurance as soon as possible. Most homeowner’s policies don’t include floods, and policies may take 30 days to take effect.
Flood warnings can come without any warning, requiring you to act quickly. Preparing now will allow you to act faster in the future and feel more confident that your home and family will be safe. Get flood insurance, store valuables in water-proof containers, and take measures to prevent flooding from entering your home. Create a to-go emergency kit that can be used at a friend’s house or public shelter. A portable generator, like the HomePower ONE, may come in handy to allow you to access your electronic devices anywhere. Make a plan for how and and where to evacuate, and practice it.
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