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australia flooding 2010 road sign 31001 600x450If you are under a flood watch or warning:

  • Gather the emergency supplies you previously stocked in your home and stay tuned to local radio or television station for updates.
  • Turn off all utilities at the main power switch and close the main gas valve if evacuation appears necessary.
  • Have your immunization records handy or be aware of your last tetanus shot, in case you should receive a puncture wound or a wound becomes contaminated during or after the flood.
  • Fill bathtubs, sinks and plastic soda bottles with clean water. Sanitize the sinks and tubs first by using bleach. Rinse and fill with clean water.
  • Bring outdoor possessions, such as lawn furniture, grills and trash cans inside or tie them down securely.
  • Be aware that flash flooding can occur, and if there is possibility will happen, then move to a higher ground.
  • Be aware of streams, drainage channels, canyons, etc.
  • Move furniture in house to an upper floor.
  • Disconnect all electricity appliances and do not touch electrical equipment when it is wet.
  • Do not walking through moving water and do not drive as well.

DURING A FLOOD WATCH

Facing a possible flood don't stack bags of sand outside your house hoping to contain the flood from getting into your basement you won't. The  water can seep under your house, just let the basement flood itself or even better flood it with clean water yourself when you are certain that the flood can not be AVOIDED. This will permit you to counteract the effect of the water pressure on the outside walls of your house thus you will prevent further structural damages to your foundation.

  • Listen to a batter-operated radio for the latest storm information.
  • Move valuable household possessions to the upper floors or to safe ground if time permits.
  • Be prepared to evacuate.
  • Turn off all utilities at the main power switch and close the main gas valve if evacuation appears necessary.
  • Have your immunization records handy or be aware of your last tetanus shot, in case you should receive a puncture wound or a wound becomes contaminated during or after the flood.
  • Fill bathtubs, sinks , jugs and plastic soda bottles with clean water. Water supply to your residence can become contaminated. Sanitize the sinks and tubs first by using bleach. Rinse and fill with clean water.
  • Bring outdoor possessions, such as lawn furniture, grills and trash cans inside or tie them down securely.
  • Check you emergency supplies:
    Several clean containers for water, large enough for a 3-5 day supply of water (about five gallons for each person).
  • A 7-10 day supply of non-perishable food and a non-electric can opener.
  • A first aid kit and manual and prescription medicines and special medical needs.
  • A battery-powered radio, flashlights, and extra batteries.
  • Sleeping bags or extra blankets.
  • Water-purifying supplies, such as chlorine or iodine tablets or unscented, ordinary household chlorine bleach.
  • Baby food and/or prepared formula, diapers, and other baby supplies.
  • Disposable cleaning cloths, such as "baby wipes" for the whole family to use in case bathing facilities are not available.
  • Personal hygiene supplies, such as soap, toothpaste, sanitary napkins, etc.
  • An emergency kit for your car with food, flares, booster cables, maps, tools, a first aid kit, fire extinguisher, sleeping bags, etc.
    Rubber boots, sturdy shoes, and waterproof gloves.
  • Insect repellent containing DEET or Picaridin, screens, or long-sleeved and long-legged clothing for protection from mosquitoes which may gather in pooled water remaining after the flood.

DURING A FLOOD

If you were caught in your house when the flood hits, you then must seek higher shelter.  If the water rises into the house climb up on the roof.  If the house collapses find something that you can grasp and float upon.

If you have made a raft or have a boat then offer help those around you . Don't forget to wear your life jacket. Avoid all direct contact with someone who is drowning; since he can drown you with him. First throw him a plank or rope to which he can hold on to, then go to his or her rescue.

If you come in contact with floodwater, wash your hands with soap and disinfected water. Floodwater may carry raw sewage, chemical waste and other infectious substances.

Avoid walking through floodwater.

Avoid downed power lines because electric currents pass easily through water.

When indoors during a flood.

  • Listen to the radio or television for information.
  • Be aware that flash flooding can occur anywhere.
  • If there is any possibility of a flash flood where you are, move immediately to higher ground. Do not wait for instructions to move.
  •  Continually check to see if flood water is coming into your home.
  • Be aware of nearby streams, drainage channels, canyons, and other
  • areas known to flood suddenly. Flash floods can occur in these areas
  • with or without such typical warnings as rain clouds or heavy rain.
  • Get your preassembled emergency supplies.
  •  If told to leave, do so immediately.

If Outdoors:

Climb to high ground and stay there. Remember, if it is moving swiftly, even water 6inches deep can sweep you off your feet.

If in A Car:

  • If you come to a flooded area, turn around and go another way.
  • If your car stalls, abandon it immediately and climb to higher ground. 
  • Many deaths have resulted from attempts to move stalled vehicles.
  • Drive in first gear only and drive slowly so as not to flood the motor, your breaks once wet will cease to function so beware.

Driving in flood conditions

  • Do not drive into flooded areas.
  • If floodwaters rise around your car, abandon the car and move to higher ground if you can do so safely. You and the vehicle can be quickly swept away. Nearly half of all flash flood deaths are vehicle related.
  • Avoid driving through even low levels of water. Six inches of water
  • will reach the bottom of most passenger cars causing loss of control
  • and possible stalling. A foot of water will float many vehicles. Two
  • feet of rushing water can carry away most vehicles including sport
  • utility vehicles (SUV’s) and pick-ups.
  • Be especially careful at night when flash floods are harder to recognize.
  • If your vehicle becomes caught in high water and stalls, leave it
  • immediately and seek higher ground if you can do so safely. Rapidly
  • rising water can sweep a vehicle and its occupants away.

Preparing to Evacuate

Expect the need to evacuate and prepare for it. When a flood watch is issued, you should:

      • Fill your vehicle’s gas tank and make sure the emergency kit for your car is ready.
      • If no vehicle is available, make arrangements with friends or family for transportation.
      • Identify essential documents such as medical records, insurance card along with ID cards and put in water prove material to carry with you during evacuation.
      • If you have pet, identify a shelter designated for pets.
      • Review your emergency plans and supplies, checking to see if any items are missing.
      • Listen for disaster sirens and warning signals.
      • Put livestock and family pets in a safe area. Due to food and sanitation requirements, emergency shelters cannot accept animals.
      • Adjust the thermostat on refrigerators and freezers to the coolest possible temperature.

If You Are Ordered to Evacuate

You should never ignore an evacuation order. Authorities will direct you to leave if you are in a low-lying area, or within the greatest potential path of the rising waters. If a flood warning is issued for your area or you are directed by authorities to evacuate the area:

      • Take only essential items with you.
      • If you have time, turn off the gas, electricity, and water.
      • Disconnect appliances to prevent electrical shock when power is restored.
      • Follow the designated evacuation routes and expect heavy traffic.
      • Do not attempt to drive or walk across creeks or flooded roads.
      • Listen to a batter-operated radio for evacuation instructions.
      • Leave early enough to avoid being marooned by flooded roads.

If You Are Ordered NOT to Evacuate

To get through the storm in the safest possible manner:

      • Monitor the radio or television for weather updates.
      • Prepare to evacuate to a shelter or to a neighbor's home if your home is damaged, or if you are instructed to do so by emergency personnel.

DURING AN EVACUATION

If advised to evacuate, do so immediately. Evacuation is much simpler and safer before flood waters become too deep for ordinary vehicles to drive through. Listen to a batter-operated radio for evacuation instructions. Follow recommended evacuation routes.  Shortcuts may be blocked. Leave early enough to avoid being marooned by flooded roads.

When evacuating

• Secure your home. If you have time, bring in outdoor furniture. Move essential items to an upper floor.

• Turn off utilities at the main switches or valves if instructed to do so. Disconnect electrical appliances. Do not touch electrical equipment if you are wet or standing in water.

• Do not walk through moving water. Six inches of moving water can make you fall. If you have to walk in water, walk where the water is not moving. Use a stick to check the firmness of the ground in front of you.