After prolonged periods of intense rain, hurricanes and tropical storms your area may experience flooding. Unlike earthquakes and tornadoes that feature sudden and violent events, flooding is more subtle and is dangerous because of how slowly it can creep up and engulf entire towns. If a dam or levee breaks the flood surge can be intense and cause immediate damage but more often than not a flood will slowly rise from swollen rivers and streams and create water damage that can be widespread. If you live in areas that are near rivers, oceans and other water outlets have a plan in place for flood preparedness that includes fully stocked first aid and disaster kits.
Besides dealing with rising water levels and having to head for higher ground floods are notorious for sanitation and hygiene problems. Floods create hazards since the water mixes with leaching fields, sewer and septic tanks creating contaminated water that is ripe with diseases and germs. This means anything in your home that is affected by flood water may have to be thrown out. Coming into contact with furniture, clothing and other household items that have been submerged by food water can easily cause disease, parasites and illnesses. Having a first aid kit that contains sanitary wipes and sprays, soap, purified water and anti-bacterial ointments will help you avoid exposure to contaminated flood water.
Since a home may be completely damaged by a flood you should also have rationed, non-perishable foods and purified drinking water stored in a safe place. Keeping canned foods, energy bars and bottled water in water-proof containers will ensure your food and water is protected and will be safe to use after a flood. Also have clean clothes, thermal underwear, boots and gloves kept in sealed plastic storage bags or water-proof containers to change into should the clothes you are wearing come into contact with contaminated flood water.
Since floods can be difficult to predict it makes sense to have a disaster kit on hand just in case. If your area experiences several days of intense rain, is near a coastline that is known for off-shore earthquakes that can trigger tsunamis or has just been hit by a hurricane be on the alert for possible flooding. Your flood kit should contain the following essential survival emergency supplies:
• Purified drinking water
• Portable toilets
• Non-perishable food
• Clean clothing including boots, gloves and rain gear
• Warm blankets
• First aid kits with antiseptic supplies, bandages, cleansing soaps and anti-diarrhea medications
• Flashlights and portable radios with extra batteries
• Emergency tents and tarps
• Plastic storage containers
Because floods don't include the cataclysmic panic of a tornado, earthquake or lightning storm people tend not to think rising water is as dangerous. But floods are just as damaging and dangerous as a category five hurricane and because of the sanitary hazards that come with contaminated flood water it is imperative that you prepare well to be able to survive a flood.
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