Severe weather threats pummel many parts of the country this week (especially the Plains, MidWest and South) with tornadoes, flash flooding, hail and thunderstorms. Guest contributor, Lee Flynn, leads us one step further in planning for emergencies with his post today: Preparing for Emergencies During Rainy Season.
Without rain, the plants wouldn’t grow, your lawn would be completely bare and brown and it would be difficult to find any clean drinking water. However, too much rain can wash crops away, cause destructive floods and otherwise make life miserable for everyone impacted by it. How can you plan ahead to make sure you are as ready as possible for any potential emergency situation that may arise during the rainy season?
Make an Emergency Kit Today
Your first task is to create an emergency kit that you can either use somewhere within your home or take with you, if you have to vacate. This kit should have clean water, batteries and a blanket. It should also have a flashlight to help you navigate in the absence of any artificial light sources within your home or wherever you happen to be when an emergency hits. Food storage for emergency purposes should also be addressed long before the rainy season starts to ensure that you don’t go hungry if it takes hours or days for a rescue crew to meet you.
Pump Water Out of Your Home to Prevent Damage
Should water get into your home, you need to get it out as soon as possible. One option is to hire a professional to clean your home and ensure that mold, mildew and other contaminants can’t take up residence in your property. Another option is to get a sump pump that can take water out of your basement and pump it outside where it can drain away from your property. It is also a good idea to equip your house with a properly functioning gutter system on the roof as it will help funnel water away from the property.
Do You Know How to Cut the Utilities?
After a major storm or flood, it may be a good idea to turn off the electricity and gas lines into your home. This is because electricity is especially dangerous when it comes into contact with water. If there is a frayed or shorted wire in your home, it could spark and electrocute anyone standing nearby. Gas lines could leak and create explosive conditions both inside and outside of your home. Even after the utilities are cut off, you may need to call for a professional to inspect your home before you turn anything on. Additionally, you may want to leave home and seek shelter elsewhere such as a friend’s house or a hotel.
What Happens if You are Stuck in Your Car?
Flash flooding can happen at any time such as when you are going to the store to buy carpet cleaning equipment or coming back from an infant adoption planning meeting. If you are in your car when a flash flood occurs, you should seek higher ground, if possible. Never try to drive through any portion of the street or highway when standing water is present.
You do not know how deep it is, and you and your car could be swallowed whole by what you thought was a small puddle on the street. If you do get stuck in a torrent of rushing water or otherwise cannot go anywhere because of the water, get out of the vehicle as soon as possible. Climb to the top of the car and wait for emergency personnel to come find you.
The rainy season can create dangerous conditions quickly. Therefore, now is the time to make sure that you know what to do in the event of an emergency. Knowing how to react if your home is flooded or you get stuck in your car during a flood can keep you and your family safe until help arrives.
Lee Flynn is a freelance writer. Through small local workshops and articles, Lee trains and teaches others on home preparation, healthy living, food storage techniques and self reliance. Follow him on twitter @foodstorage101.
Want to read more about emergency planning and preparedness? Check out these earlier posts from Toot Sweet 4 Two’s archives: