Due to the excessive amount of rainfall in the area recently, it’s become increasingly important to plan for emergency situations caused by inclement weather. Water damage from flooding that results in power loss has become prevalent during this season. As Hurricane Florence approaches the East coast, families can prepare for these stressful situations by knowing what to do before the storm arrives. Follow these emergency preparation tips to endure significant weather events.
1. Have an emergency supply kit ready
This will contain additional and handy survival items, such as:
- a first aid kit
- a local map
- can opener for food
- sanitary wipes
- a food thermometer
- medications (7-day supply)
- blankets or sleeping bags
2. Purchase plenty of clean water
It’s critical for your survival to have enough food and water to last at least 72 hours during a disaster. The average person needs three quarters of a gallon daily, so make sure you have one gallon of water per person for at least three days. A 24-pack of 16.9 fl oz water bottles is equivalent to 3.16 gallons. Leaning on the safe side, a family of four people would require at least four 24-packs of bottled water to last for a minimum of three days. Humans can go up to three weeks without food but will only last three to four days without water. Also, make sure to store bottled water in a cool, dark place.
3. Navigate the basement during a flood
Before taking any action in the basement, shut off the power in the area if possible. Never enter a flooded area while the electricity or gas is turned on, as this can be very hazardous. For protective purposes, wear boots and gloves while walking around the flooded area. Since the power will be either turned off or shut down, removing water from the basement will require a mop and bucket. Move damaged items out of the basement to dry in a well-ventilated area. Give items about 48 hours to thoroughly dry before continuing usage.
4. Establish an emergency communication plan
Since disasters can occur at any time on short notice, it’s important to create your emergency plan in advance. Have a method for receiving emergency warning and alerts, discuss your shelter plan, and know the evacuation routes in your area ahead of time. A crank radio can also be used to listen for important service announcements. Consider your family’s specific needs, especially if you live with young children, seniors, or pets.
5. Prepare for power loss
Excessive wind and pouring rain can knock down trees and damage power lines, leaving you without electricity for a prolonged period of time. Prepare in advance by taking inventory of items you need that rely on electricity, including lights, refrigerators, and phones. Have a substantial supply of batteries for flashlights and other alternatives such as headlamps to meet your needs. Turn off or disconnect all appliances and electronics, as power surges can cause additional damage.
6. Food safety tips
In addition to having at least a 72-hour water supply, you’ll want the same amount of non-perishable food items too. Preferred options include stock canned foods, dry mixes, and meals that don’t require refrigeration or cooking. Canned fruits, meats and vegetables, protein bars, dry cereal, and granola are all great choices. In the event of a power outage, keep the refrigerator and freezer closed as much as possible. Food in the fridge will keep cold for four hours, and the freezer will keep its temperature for 48 hours without power. Remember that bacteria in food grows rapidly at temperatures between 40 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Discard any food that has been at room temperature for more than two hours, and when in doubt, throw it out!
7. Explore insurance restoration options
When natural disasters strike, scam artists come out in full force. If your home has suffered a flood and you need help getting back on your feet, we recommend calling one of these two firms for expert and honest assistance. The experienced professionals at Mercury Home Remodeling and ServPRO can help repair or remodel your home in the aftermath of water damage. If your roof is leaking from excessive rainfall, then contact Brothers Services to schedule a consultation today.
Above all, it’s imperative to come together and rely on one another in the event of a disaster. Establishing an emergency plan allows you to secure the safety of your family during unexpected events. Then you can turn your attention to helping others who are less fortunate and in more difficult predicaments. Preparation in advance is key to your success, allowing you to remain calm during the storm.