Q: How do you protect yourself from a flood?
A: Flood protection isn't just about what you do when the flood has hit. Protecting yourself from a flood has a lot to do with how you prepare before, what you do during, and how you continue to protect your safety after. Here's a breakdown of what to do at each step:
- Prepare before: Preparing before means just that: It's preparation for anything and everything that could happen. Know the risk of flooding in your area and evacuation routes out of the city, gather supplies such as medications and food, and ensure that all of your important documents and personal property are off the ground and out of harm's way.
- Stay safe during: Move to high ground or, if you're in your car, stay inside. If water floods the car, you should move to the roof for potential rescue. The most important thing to remember is that you should never attempt to move through flood waters, it's very dangerous. Turn around and find an alternate route, whether you're on foot or in the car.
- Protect your safety after: Once the immediate danger is over, it's important to continue protecting your safety. The biggest risks with flooding are the potential for electrocution if electrical equipment is down, animals in your home due to the floodwater, or contamination due to debris in the water.
If you have damage due to flooding, it's important to document the damage for your flood insurance claim. If you don't have flood insurance or aren't sure whether you're required to have it, contact an independent insurance agent.