Yesterday, we updated you on the Oroville Dam situation, which could potentially result in severe flooding in the Sacramento River Valley.
Today I wanted to discuss a bit about basic flood preparedness.
Now, you might live in an area where floods are a reality and you’re already well-prepared for them. But if California is any example, extreme weather is causing flooding in areas that aren’t used to it, so if you’re near a river, dam, or in a valley, you never know when it might occur.
If your house is directly threatened by potential floods, you will need to plan and prepare for evacuation first and foremost. You might be lucky enough to surround your house with a berm, like the owner of the house in this amazing picture:
But the rest of us will probably have to leave our homes.
Number one, comply with evacuation orders and leave your home when you’re told. The loss of life following Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans was much worse than it could have been because many people decided to ignore evacuation orders and stay put.
Second, have your car equipped for evacuation. Keep clean water that is changed out regularly so that it doesn’t mold, as well as blankets, flashlights, and basic first aid items.
Third, if you are caught in a flood before you can safely evacuate the flood zone, move to the highest area you can, even if it’s your own roof.
Don’t walk through flood waters, ever. Even less than a foot can be very dangerous, so stay high and stay dry.
Try to avoid contact with flood water, as they can be contaminated with sewage or chemical spills. If you do come into contact with flood waters, try to wash with soap and clean water as soon as possible.
Before evacuating or if you are contained in your own home, turn off electrical breakers and get to high ground ASAP.
Flooding is the #1 natural disaster in the US, but fortunately, it’s happened enough here that we can learn from it. Get together with your family and plan for the worst today to ensure the best outcome.
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