Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Preventative Flood Measures- Act Now And Be Safe

By John Paige

Floods can come with or without warning, and while you are powerless to stop them, you are not helpless. There are preventative measures that can be taken to protect against or lessen damage from flooding. This is a major reason your should really decide to purchase flood zone insurance too protect your home and its contents.

If a flood occurs, here are some basic steps to help minimize damage to your home and property. There are three critical aspects of your home that you should focus the most attention toward. These aspects are your electricity, gas, and water. In the event of imminent or possible flood, be sure to turn off the main sources for all three of these things. Make sure you know where and how to do this ahead of time, so that you can act quickly in the even of a flood. Do not wait for the flood to arrive before finding the locations of these controls.

Next, make sure that all the electronics in your house are unplugged, and as much as you are able, try to carry them to higher floors. An attic is optimal if you have one. If your residence is in an area likely to be hit by floods, you should already own such things as sandbags for protecting your doors and metal sheeting to cover your windows. Safety must be your primary concern, but if you have time and it is safe, you should move your belongings to higher floors before the water starts coming in.

As much as you can, you need to try to keep everything in your home dry and above water. Roll up carpets and rugs to keep them from getting soaked and having their texture ruined. Always have a emergency kit prepared with dry clothes, toiletries, documents, a light, and fresh drinking water. If possible, there should be a kit for each family member. In your emergency kit, since it will be stored someplace safe from flooding, you should also keep any valuables or mementos which can not be replaced by money alone, so that they will not be destroyed.

Before you are faced with a flood, you should install some basic flood defences. Look at stores in your area for things such as flood board and air brick covers, that can be installed ahead of time, and plastic skirting to go around your entire home exterior.

If the flood has already arrived, it is time to put your safety at the helm as your main concern. If forced to evacuate, cooperate fully with emergency workers, and try to do everything you can and must do while there is still daylight. Floods have claimed many victims and you do not want yourself or your family to be among them.

One of the best things you can do is to prepare in advance. Check frequently for flood warnings in your area to ensure that you are ready to take appropriate action. Always have an emergency plan worked out with your family so that you can effectively take quick action in the event of a flood.

Your flood plan must include an escape route, a list of safe places to go, all belongings you will need to take with you, and any other safety concerns you may have. Tune in to your local radio or television stations for flood warnings. You may also telephone Floodline at 0845 988 1188 at any time to get more information.

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