Projections show that floods will cause $32 billion per year in damage to US homes by 2051. Natural disasters can be devastating and quite dangerous. They often leave many people injured or dead, so it’s crucial to be properly prepared to keep yourself and your family safe.
Floods can cause severe damage initially but are often still dangerous long after they first occur. You should keep a flood preparation kit at the ready so that you’ll be as safe as possible when one occurs.
Keep reading for a rundown of 9 crucial things you should include in your flood preparation kit.
1. First Aid Kit
This is one of the most essential pieces of kit for any emergency. A flood doesn’t guarantee that someone around you will get hurt, but it’s very possible, and a first aid kit could be the difference between life and death.
Cuts, fractures, and other injuries can be very problematic if not treated quickly. First aid won’t provide the same level of care as a doctor in a hospital, but it will definitely make a difference. In a flood disaster, it will also be much harder to get proper care from paramedics or to get to a hospital, so a first aid kit can be a real lifeline.
Floods often cause power outages, leading to various issues. Many electrical devices like TVs and microwaves not working won’t be much of a concern during a flood, but having no light can be a major problem.
Make sure you have a reliable flashlight packed, along with spare batteries, as you don’t know how long you’ll be relying on it. It can be a good idea to go for a wind-up flashlight as you then won’t need to rely on batteries at all. You might also want to opt for a waterproof flashlight – if you drop a regular one into flood water it could stop working immediately.
3. Food and Water
When a flood happens, you might not be able to access food or water for quite a while. The severity of floods can vary, but to be safe, you should prepare to survive for 3-7 days with just your flood preparation kit.
When it comes to food, ensure it’s suitable. Non-perishable and canned foods are ideal (make sure you have a can opener too), and high-energy snacks are good to keep you going. Take into account who you have with you, as you may need some food more suitable for infants or the elderly.
In terms of water, you should have enough for each person with you to drink a gallon per day (again, for 3-7 days). You’ll also need extra if you have pets.
If flood impact is bad enough, it can affect common communication lines, so you may have no internet access or cell phone signal. If this is the case, a radio can be the most reliable form of communication, so having one will enable you to get information about what’s happening.
Like with your flashlight, you should have spare batteries or wind-up radio. An NOAA weather radio is ideal as it will connect to a range of radio stations that provide constant weather updates. Having this information will help you best decide what to do when a flood is approaching.
A flood plan can help you get through things without the need for assistance, but in severe cases, things can get quite dire. You might find yourself in a situation where you’re relying on search and rescue services to find you. When this happens, you want to make it as easy as possible for them to locate you.
A whistle will help you signal for help if you’re stranded. This can be incredibly helpful if visibility is poor. The sound of a whistle cuts through the air better than shouting will, and if you’re exhausted it’s one of the easiest ways to get someone’s attention.
A first aid kit should be standard for everyone’s flood preparation kit, but you may need some additional medication in yours. If any of your family members rely on regular medication, you should keep a supply in your flood preparation kit to ensure they have enough to last in a food situation.
This can include things like insulin for anyone who’s diabetic, or an inhaler for anyone who suffers from asthma. Keeping people safe and healthy should always be a priority during a natural disaster.
7. Copies of Important Documents
A lot of damage will happen in a flooded home, but most of this can be repaired. One of the more difficult things to fix, however, is damage to important documents.
This includes things like:
- Birth certificates
- Marriage certificates
- Tax returns
- Medical records
- Social Security cards
- Deeds or mortgages
These can also be damaged in a fire. It’s a good idea to keep these locked in a fireproof/waterproof container to ensure they don’t get damaged.
8. Pet Care Items
For most people, pets are part of the family. As such, you should have some essentials for them packed in your flood preparation kit too. Beyond food and water, you’ll also want any medication, immunization records, identification, and (depending on the pet) a cage or leash might be ideal.
9. Flood Insurance
If you live somewhere with considerable flood risk, you want to make sure your property is covered for any damage. Having flood insurance for rental property is essential, otherwise, you could be facing huge bills to repair your property.
The Importance of Flood Preparation
Flood preparation is always a good idea, especially if you live somewhere that’s prone to them. Make sure your flood preparation kit is focused on keeping your family safe and healthy. You also want suitable insurance to cover any damage that occurs.
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