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How to Stay Safe Before, During, and After a Flood, According to Experts

If you’ve tuned into the information these days, you’ve possible seen at the very least some protection of the floods which might be impacting numerous elements of the world. Over the summer time, the devastating floods in Pakistan—which have killed greater than 1,500 individuals within the space, together with greater than 500 kids—have highlighted simply how harmful any such pure disaster will be.

The US is grappling with its personal warnings of rising waters. In July, eastern Kentucky faced historic floods: At least 38 individuals died, and the state is seeking additional federal aid as residents do their greatest to recuperate. Last weekend, Hurricane Fiona hit Puerto Rico, leaving a lot of the area with out energy amid flash flood warnings. Flood risks are also rising in California as a result of heavy rainfall. People in Alaska have began to evaluate the injury following main typhoon-related floods.

These disasters are understandably unsettling. They additionally function essential reminders to have a plan must you ever end up in a possible flood zone, Jaclyn Rothenberg, the director of public affairs on the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), tells SELF.  “Flooding can affect anyone, anywhere,” she says.

This is very true throughout hurricane season, which generally begins June 1 and lasts till November 30, per the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The administration predicts the US will see “above average” hurricane activity this 12 months, estimating three to 6 “major hurricanes.”

Desert people, don’t cease studying now: It could appear counterintuitive, however individuals who stay in dry climates aren’t all the time secure from floods, Cheryl Nelson, licensed broadcast meteorologist and FEMA-certified pure disaster preparedness teacher, tells SELF. In drought situations, “the dry land can act like pavement and not allow rainwater to seep into the soil very easily,” Nelson explains. “If the rainfall rate is intense, the rainwater can run off, causing flooding.” Flash flooding, flooding that begins inside six hours of heavy rainfall, is “especially dangerous,” she provides.

While all of this may be hectic to consider, having a transparent plan in place might help ease your thoughts since you’ll be ready to take motion if you should. Here’s what you must find out about staying as secure as attainable earlier than, throughout, and after a flood.

Before a flood is anticipated

There are various issues you are able to do forward of time to maintain you and your loved ones secure. The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recommends taking the next steps:

  • Sign up for an area warning system. If you’re unsure the place to start out, verify your local health department’s website to see if it has a system in place to alert residents about flood warnings and different weather-related dangers. FEMA’s Emergency Alert System (EAS) and the NOAA Weather Radio additionally present alerts.
  • Invest in flood insurance coverage in the event you can. This is required for some owners in high-risk areas—as a result of only one inch of floodwater in your house may cause tens of hundreds of {dollars} value of injury. The DHS recommends signing up for protection by means of the National Flood Insurance Program, which FEMA manages.
  • Have the proper tech helpful. “On your phone, have a local news app, a weather app, and consider downloading the FEMA app which can give you disaster alerts,” Nicholas Kman, MD, an emergency medication doctor on the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, tells SELF.

During a flood watch or warning

There’s truly a distinction between a flood watch and a flood warning; not each alert means it’s time to evacuate your space.

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