The melting winter brings spring flood emergencies

Transitioning to spring means melting snow, lakes and rivers which can cause first-time floods. What would you do if your property were flooded? Here are some tips to keep you safe.

The melting winter brings spring flood emergencies

Changes in the weather and transitioning seasons from winter to spring may bring damaging floods as result of the melting snow, lakes and rivers. What would you do if your property were flooded? Are you prepared? Even if you think you live in a community with low-risk flooding, remember that anywhere it rains can flood. Even if you haven’t experienced flooding in the past, it doesn’t mean you will not in the future.

The American Red Cross and Michigan State University Extension recommend the following tools and tips to keep you and your family safe

Tools and supplies to keep you safe

  • Water—at least a three day supply; one gallon per person per day
  • Food—at least a three day supply of non-perishable, easy-to-prepare food
  • Flashlight
  • Battery-powered or hand-crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio)
  • Extra batteries
  • First-aid kit
  • Medications (one week supply) and medical items (hearing aids with extra batteries, glasses, contact lenses, syringes, cane, etc.)
  • Sanitation and personal hygiene items
  • Copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, deed/lease to home, birth certificates, insurance policies)
  • Cell phone and chargers
  • Family and emergency contact information
  • Extra cash
  • Emergency blanket
  • Map(s) of the area
  • Baby supplies (bottles, formula, baby food, diapers)
  • Pet supplies (collar, leash, pet identification tags, food, carrier, bowl)
  • Tools/supplies for securing your home
  • Extra set of car keys and house keys
  • Extra clothing, hat and sturdy shoes
  • Rain gear
  • Insect repellent and sunscreen
  • Camera for photos of damage

Once you have gathered and secured these items, here are some additional tips to follow from the American Red Cross and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA):

  • Listen to area radio and television stations for possible flood warnings and reports of flooding in progress or other critical information from the National Weather Service (NWS) and be prepared to evacuate at a moment’s notice.
  • When a flood or flash flood warning is issued for your area, head for higher ground and stay there.
  • Stay away from flood waters. If you come upon a flowing stream where water is above your ankles, stop, turn around and go another way. Six inches of swiftly moving water can sweep you off of your feet.
  • If you come upon a flooded road while driving, turn around and go another way. If you are caught on a flooded road and waters are rising rapidly around you, get out of the car quickly and move to higher ground. Most cars can be swept away by less than two feet of moving water.
  • Keep children out of the water. They are curious and often lack judgment about running water or contaminated water.

Clean up and recovery

Once the flooding has subsided you will want to follow these cautionary procedures:

  • During cleanup, wear protective clothing. Make sure your food and water are safe. Pay attention to the condition of the food item and discard items that have come in contact with floodwater, including canned goods, water bottles, plastic utensils and baby bottle nipples. When in doubt, throw it out!
  • Remember to contact your local or state public health department to see if your water supply might be contaminated. If instructed, boil or treat water before use. Do not use water that could be contaminated to wash dishes, brush teeth, prepare food, wash hands, make ice or make baby formula.

For more information contact your local authorities. Being prepared, making a plan and staying informed will help keep you and your family safe during natural disaster emergencies.

Related Articles