Thursday, August 25, 2011

What to do in a flood

The Chester County Health Dept. issued this advice on safety during floods.

WHAT SHOULD I DO?

• Listen to local radio and television stations for possible flood warnings and reports of
flooding in progress or other critical information from the National Weather Service
(NWS)
• Be prepared to evacuate at a moments’ notice with your supplies. (see list below)
• When a flood or flash flood warning is issued for your area, head for higher ground and
do not return until the area is declared safe.
• Stay away from moving flood waters. Do not walk through fl owing water. If the water
level is above your ankles, stop, turn around and go another way. If you MUST walk
through a flooded area, use a pole or stick to enable contact with the ground. If you are
caught in an automobile on a flooded road and waters are rising rapidly around you, get
out of the car quickly and move to higher ground. Cars can be swept away in just two
feet of moving water. Do not drive around drive around road barriers.
• Be especially cautious at night when it is harder to recognize flood danger.

WHAT SUPPLIES DO I NEED

• Water - at least a 3 day supply; one gallon per person, per day
• Food - at least a 3 day supply of non-perishable, easy to prepare food
• Flashlights and batteries
• Battery powered or hand crank radio
• First aid kit
• Medications (7-day supply) and medical items (hearing aids with extra batteries, glasses,
contact lenses, syringes, etc.)
• Multipurpose tool
• Sanitation and personal hygiene items
• Copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, birth
certificate, insurance policies)
• Cell phone with chargers
• Family and emergency contact information
• Extra cash
• Extra blankets
• Map(s) of the area
• Baby supplies (bottles, formula, baby food, diapers)
• Extra clothing and sturdy shoes
• Rain gear
• Insect repellent and sunscreen

WHAT DO I DO AFTER A FLOOD?

• Return home only when offi cials have declared the area safe.
• Before entering your home, check outside for loose power lines, damaged gas lines, foundation cracks or other
damage.
• If your home is partially damaged or collapsed, approach entrances carefully. Make sure that porch roofs and
overhangs are still supported.
• Be alert for wild animals.
• If you smell natural gas or propane, or hear a hissing noise, leave IMMEDIATELY and call the fi re department.
• If power lines are down outside of your home, do not step in any puddles or standing water.
• Make sure food and perishable items are safe. Discard items that have come in contact with fl oodwater, including
canned goods, water bottles, medications, cosmetics, plastic utensils and baby bottle nipples. When in doubt,
throw it out!
• Do not use potentially contaminated water to wash dishes, brush teeth, prepare food, wash hands, make ice, or
make baby formula.
• Check with the Chester County Health Department (www.chesco.org/health) for recommendations for boiling or
treating water in your area after a disaster, as water may be contaminated.
Because standard homeowners insurance does not cover fl ooding, it is important to have protection from fl oods
associated with hurricanes, tropical storms, heavy rains and other conditions. For information on fl ood insurance, visit
the National Flood Insurance Program Website.

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