25 Mar. 17

Flood Prevention

If you live in a flood risk area, then you must take necessary steps to ensure little-to-no damages occur; these damages can range from health threats to property damage and in some cases even death. Below are some things you can do to minimize these risks.

Buy Flood Insurance. 

As with most things, it is better to get insurance in case anything ever happens. Damages caused by floods do not usually fall under a homeowner’s insurance policies, so it is advised to invest in flood insurance. Even if your area isn’t at a high flood risk, it is still better to be prepared as even low risk areas can suffer flooding due to an inadequate drainage system or burst water mains.

If you are living or based in a high-flood risk area, then there are still a couple of things you can do to minimize the damage caused by floods.

  • Place any and all utilities (furnace, air condition, water heater etc) in high surfaces
  • Install “check valves” in your sewer traps as a way to prevent flood water backups
  • Construct interior barriers to prevent low-level floodwater from getting inside your home.
  • Use waterproofing compounds to seal your walls and avoid seepage
  • Move any important papers/inventory from places floods can reach i.e. low level shelves
  • Back-up any computer data you may have on an external hard drive and keep it somewhere safe
  • Always follow health and safety advise, learn flood evacuation routes and every other step to keep yourself safe.

Organize your farm to escape manure runoff into streams. 

If you live on a farm in a medium-to-high flood risk area, it is important to know that flooding can increase the chances of manure running off into rivers, streams, and groundwater. These could potentially contaminate private water wells used for drinking and could also result into pollution; killing fishes that may have lived in said streams and rivers. It is critical to act fast to prevent this when flooding occurs.

Guarantee safe dams and prepare for emergency plans.  

If you are a Dam owner, then you need to follow these steps to avoid any risks to human lives and damages to properties when it starts flooding.

  • Review the Emergency Action Plan (EAP) of your Dam; if you don’t have one, you can easily make one
  • You need to have proper coordination of your dam’s operation with both downstream and upstream dam owners.
  • Check if you have a contingency or backup plan in place, these could consist of emergency operations or procedures.

Make an early observation of water level and ice flow. 

Operate the dam in a well-timed routine to lessen risk gate failure and/or damage. Make sure you refer to dam safety and floodplain zoning maps to get an estimate of lands likely to be flooded if you fail to have a dam failure analysis map. Taking into observation these steps will go a long way into saving you, your home, business and environment from the hazards of flooding.

Hazards Of Flooding

Flood water or standing water pose various risks including but not limited to; infectious diseases, chemical hazards, and injuries. When returning to your home after a flooding emergency, be aware that flood water may contain sewage.

Diarrheal Diseases

Eating or drinking anything contaminated by flood water can cause diarrheal disease.

To prevent this:

  • Practice good hygiene (handwashing) after contact with flood waters.
  • Do not allow children to play in flood water areas.
  • Wash children’s hands frequently (always before meals).
  • Do not allow children to play with toys that have been contaminated by flood water and have not been disinfected.

Wound Infections

Open wounds and rashes exposed to flood waters can become infected.

To prevent this:

  • Avoid exposure to flood waters if you have an open wound.
  • Cover open wounds with a waterproof bandage.
  • Keep open wounds as clean as possible by washing well with soap and clean water.
  • If a wound develops redness, swelling, or drainage, seek immediate medical attention.