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  • Herbert Mack

Make Plans Before the Flood Arrives

Flooding may happen in areas when large amounts of rain occur over a short period of time or from a single, heavy storm, tropical system, or hurricane. After these storms, we rely on a man-made flood control system to drain excess water from the low, flat lands. Flood have the potential to cause severe environmental damage. Without surface-water drainage, frequent flooding creates flood damage roads and houses. The city drainage network is more than just the drain; it includes surface and gutter flow and inlet flow. Did you know that most runoff follows surface routes during floods? In some cases, flow leaves one drain and re-enters another with no problem; in other cases, whole areas become flooded. Small changes like raising a dyke or removing some soil or even utilizing absorbent socks can improve the situation of flooding significantly. Structural and non-structural are two basic techniques to mitigate damage from flooding. Structural methods modify the flood and take the flood away from people by tools such as levees, floodwalls, and dams. Non-structural techniques basically take the people away from the floods by leaving the area and relocating, flood proofing and flood preparedness. Before the Flood It is important to make plans before the flood arrives. Your advanced plan should include the following (at a minimum):

1. Purchase flood insurance at least 30 days before the event and keep your policy and other important papers in a safe place such as a fire-proof box, safety deposit box, or waterproof container.

2. Learn the safest route from your home in case you have to evacuate.  Fill the gas tank of your automobile.

3. Purchase absorbent socks, sandbags, plywood, and plastic sheeting to protect your property.

4. Make arrangements for your pets.

5. Create an emergency supply kit to include: - Fresh water to last seven days (one gallon per person per day) - Non-perishable food to last seven days with paper products and plastic serving utensils - One change of clothing and footwear per person - First aid kit with prescription medicines - Personal hygiene items - Portable radio (preferably weather band radio) and flashlight with plenty of extra batteries - Extra set of car keys - Cash, preferably in small bills - Necessary items for infants, elderly, disabled family members and pets - A small basic toolkit

If you are in your home when it begins to flood, move to the second floor. If time permits, turn off all utilities, particularly electricity and gas, and board up windows.