Flood Preparation and Prevention

THE FLOOD HAZARD

flood-preparationFloods are the most common and widespread of all natural hazards. Some floods develop over a period of days, but flash floods can result in raging waters in just a few minutes.

Loss or damage caused by flood is sometimes covered under household insurance policies and can be included under commercial Fire and special perils insurance. In the event of flood damage you should contact your insurer (this can be done through your broker). It would be beneficial to do the following:

  • Take photographs of your belongings and your house.
  • Have your financial records (receipts, valuations, etc.) available.
  • Keep detailed records of clean­up costs.
  • Submit a list of items that have been lost or destroyed together with possible replacement

Each individual must be aware of flood hazards especially if one lives or does business in a low- lying area, near a large watercourse or downstream from a dam, river or canal. The following steps should be taken depending on the situation or circumstances:

  • Be prepared to evacuate (secure your home or business if possible).
  • Assemble a disaster kit (radio, flashlight, batteries, first aid supplies, sleeping supplies, clothing, food and drinking water).
  • Keep documents and important papers in a safe place (where flood waters will not reach
  • Keep stocks on pallets, especially if the stocks are susceptible to water damage.
  • Move to higher ground. Move essential items to the upper floors.
  • Disconnect electrical appliances, but do not touch electrical equipment if you are wet or
  • Stay away from floodwaters. They could be contaminated or electrically charged.
  • Be aware of areas where floodwaters have receded. Roads may have weakened and could collapse under the weight of a vehicle.
  • Stay away from downed power lines.
  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and clean water if you come in contact with floodwaters. Throw away food that has come in contact with floodwaters.
  • Do not walk through moving water, since you can be knocked off your feet. If you must walk in a flooded area, walk where the water is not moving. Use a stick to check the firmness of the ground In front of you.
  • Do not drive into flooded areas. You and your vehicle can be quickly swept away as floodwaters rise.