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April Showers Bring More than May Flowers, Be Prepared for Potential Flooding

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April is known for rain. In fact, an old and well-known children’s saying “April showers bring May flowers” references the frequency of rain during the April. These showers can quickly become heavy and intense causing flooding conditions. Even though this is not necessarily a new phenomenon in our area, it is still wise to be prepared.

If you know your home is located in an area that has potential flooding issues, you should purchase or renew a flood insurance policy. Homeowner’s insurance policies do not cover flooding. Typically, the wait time for your policy to go into effect is 30 days. Therefore, it would be advisable to purchase the policy well before a disaster.

Last week’s safety article outlined some safety measures to use during a flood. This week’s article will add a few additional safety tips:

• Never drive around barricades. Local responders use them to safely direct traffic out of the flooded areas.

• Get to the highest level if trapped in a building. Only get on the roof if necessary and signal for help. Do not climb into a closed attic to avoid getting trapped by rising floodwater.

• Listen to EAS, NOAA Weather Radio or local alerting systems for current emergency information and instructions about the flood.

• Stay inside your car if it becomes trapped in rapidly moving water. Get on the roof if water is rising inside the car.

• Contact your healthcare provider if you are sick and need medical attention. Wait for further instructions and shelter in place, if possible. If you are experiencing a medical emergency call 9-1-1.

It is equally important to stay safe after a flood situation. Here are safety measures to use, if needed:

• Pay attention to the authorities for information and instructions. Return home only when authorities say it is safe to do so.

• Avoid driving except in emergencies.

• Wear heavy work gloves, protective clothing and boots during clean up and use appropriate face coverings or masks if cleaning mold or other debris.

• People with asthma and other lung conditions and/or immune suppression should not enter buildings with indoor water leaks or mold growth that can be seen or smelled. Children should not take part in disaster cleanup work.

• Be aware that snakes and other animals may be in your home.

• Be aware of the risk of electrocution. Do not touch electrical equipment if it is wet or if you are standing in water. Turn off the electricity to prevent electric shock if it is safe to do so.

• Finally, avoid wading in floodwater, which can be contaminated and contain dangerous debris. Underground or downed power lines can also electrically charge the water.

It is critically important to Keep an Eye on Safety before, during and after a flood.