September is National Preparedness Month and is the perfect time to learn what protective measures to take before, during and after a flood or hurricane. To begin preparing, it’s important to first build an emergency kit and make a family communications plan. It is equally imperative for an organization to be proactive and take the relevant steps to plan.
In preparation for a flood, you should take the following additional measures:
- Avoid building in a floodplain unless you elevate and reinforce your home or office.
- Elevate the furnace, water heater, and electric panel if you are near an area that has a high flood risk.
- Consider installing “check valves” to prevent flood water from backing up into the drains.
- If feasible, construct barriers to stop floodwater from entering the building and seal walls in basements with waterproofing compounds.
In preparation for a hurricane, you should take the following additional measures:
- Learn the elevation level of your property and whether the land is flood-prone. This will help you know how your property will be affected when storm surge or tidal flooding are forecasted.
- Identify levees and dams in your area and determine whether they pose a hazard to you.
- Learn community hurricane evacuation routes and how to find higher ground. Determine where you would go and how you would get there if you needed to evacuate.
- If in a high-rise building, when high winds are present, be prepared to take shelter on a lower floor because wind conditions increase with height, and in a small interior room without windows. When flooding may be occurring, be prepared to take shelter on a floor safely above the flooding and wave effects.
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