The Dangers Of Floodwater and How To Protect Yourself

When a flood happens, the main thing people tend to worry about is how wet things in the basement might get. It’s where people tend to keep some valuable stuff. However, flood water can bring about more dangers than just a wet basement in your home.

A Natural Disaster

We experience all kinds of natural disasters. Flooding is one of the most common disasters, along with being costly. Most particularly in the United States where it can cause close to a billion dollars worth of damage. It can also prove to be fatal to people in areas with heavy flooding, especially during hurricane season. From flash floods and severe rain you should always be aware of possible flooding in the community you live in.

Flood waters can contain things that are harmful to your health. With flood water anything can be in there at anytime and it might not always be the same. This can range from sewage water, which could contain human waste. Deceased rodents and possible hazardous waste that could be chemical, biological and radiological.

This is why it’s best to wait for the water to drain or to get it pumped out and properly cleaned before you venture into a flooded space. Being exposed to contaminated water could result in:

  • Skin Rashes
  • Wound Infections
  • Tetanus
  • Gastrointestinal Illness

If it is necessary to go into flood waters be sure to wear rubber gloves and boots to help limit possible injury. If you are coming into contact with flood water, make sure sure to wash the area as soon as possible afterwards. Inspect the body for any wounds to sanitize them to prevent infections. Be sure to wash the clothes you were in before you wear them again.

Any items that were affected by the flood water will need to be disinfected before you used them. When searching through your things, make sure to wear gloves and masks.

How to Prepare For Flooding

The things about flooding is that it can happen with little to no warning at all, depending on circumstances. In order to be best prepared, you should have an evacuation plan in place. Having that can ensure that you will be able to evacuate quickly and efficiently at a moments notice. Also pay attention to if the National Weather Service (NWS) sends out any alerts for flash flood watches and warnings.

If there are no evacuation orders and you decide to stay at your house there are some things to keep in mind. If the home starts to flood you should move to higher ground quickly. Avoid going into the attic to avoid possibly getting trapped by rising floodwater. Only get on the roof as a last resort.

If you happen to be outside while a flood is happening you’re more susceptible to the dangers. If you’re driving avoid bridges as they can become very hazardous and slippery. Take your time while driving, when streets are flooded and you have to drive through them you don’t want to speed through. The water can contain very hazardous things that could damage your car and leave you stranded. If necessary find a place to pull over if you can navigate to it and wait out the flood.

Lastly, you can purchase a flood insurance policy for your home. Having flood insurance will help you pay for any repairs to the house. The insurance should also cover any belongings damaged in the flood as well.

Over the decades we have gotten better at predicting weather patterns. That doesn’t mean meteorologist are right all the time though. Even if your auto insurance has you covered. It’s best to take precautions and be prepared for anything, than to not be prepared at all.