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Insurance Article

What to Do Before, During, and After Flash Floods/Floods?

July 26 2017

Prepare your loved ones on how to handle a flood or flash flood emergency

India is a peninsula, and it is surrounded by the Arabian Sea, Bay of Bengal and Indian Ocean. Out of the total geographical area of 329 million hectares (mha), more the 40 mha is prone to flooding. Flood is a recurrent phenomenon, which causes huge damage and loss of lives, property and infrastructure. Recently, flood has increased in India. The most flood prone areas are Ganga Basin, Brahmaputra and Barak Basins, Central India and Deccan Rivers Basin.

According to recent studies, it has been noticed that floods are also occurring in areas, which were earlier not considered prone to flooding. As per the World Resources Institute (WRI) India is among the top listed nation affected by floods.

Prepare Before a Flood/Flash Flood

When a flood has been predicted, the first and the foremost step that you should take is turning off the furnace, water heater, and electric panel. Ensure that you are more cautious in safeguarding natural gas, electrical or propane heating equipment. However, only turn off the electricity, if the area around fuse box is completely dry, and the flood has not yet started.

Steps to Take During a Flood or Flash Flood

If you are advised to evacuate, do so immediately, and do not return, until it’s completely safe. By ignoring such warnings, you are putting the life of your loved ones at risk. While evacuating, make sure that you follow the route, which has been specified by the authorities. Do not try to take a short cut, as this might lead you to a danger-prone or blocked area. Make sure that you carry your emergency kit with you.

You should never try to cross a flooded area. If you are on foot, the rapid water could sweep you away. However, if you are travelling by car, do not drive through the flood water. There is a possibility that the water might be deeper than it seems, and your car can either be swept away by the current, or get stuck.

If, however, you get stuck in a flood water, come out of your car, save your passengers and yourself. Do not assume that the car is safer, because in a flash food, even 2 feet of water is enough to sweep away big, SUV-sized vehicles.

Steps to Take After a Flood

Before re-entering your home, ensure that the structure of the building is completely safe. Look out for debris, broken glass pieces, and holes on the ground. Before you enter your home get an electrician to check the main power switch. It should be cleaned and dried, and ensured safe by an electrician, before switching on the electricity.

Prepare an Emergency Kit

While preparing an emergency kit, ensure that you keep all the basic supplies with you. You will need to have sufficient supply to last you for at least 72 hours.

While packing your kit, ensure that it is lightweight and easy to carry. Some of the essential items that you would need are: a flashlight, battery-operated radio, extra batteries, first aid kit, food, water, and extra keys to your home. The emergency kit should be kept close at hand, and everyone should know where it is kept.

Every flood prone region requires an emergency plan. It’s possible, that you and your family might not be together when an emergency occurs, an emergency plan would allow them to take immediate actions, in case a disaster strikes.

Make an Emergency Plan

Discuss what steps should be taken in an emergency, if you are at home, school or work. Make a list of what you require to do, also ensure that you store all your important documents in a waterproof container. Identify an out of town acquaintance, who will be the central point of contact during an emergency.

Safeguard Your Home and Property

You can also flood proof your home through dry- and wet-flood proofing. In dry flood proofing, changes are made in the structure to specific portions of the building. It is designed in such a way, so that they keep the enclosed area, completely dry. The wet flood proofing, simply minimises the damage, when the flood enters your home.

In times of natural disasters, an accident is never too far away. Even the slightest mistake can lead to a grievous injury, or even worse, death. Ensure that you are suitably covered with accidental insurance so that you and your dependants are secured, no matter what happens.

Related Article:

Tips for Safer Daily Commute during Monsoon
How to Prepare Your Home for Natural Disasters

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