Preparing for a flood, hurricane or tropical storm is to get out of town for many. Securing your home the best you can and hitting the road. Many times a flood can come about with a hurricane or tropical storm. When the warning goes up for a big named storm, you need to think safety and supplies. From June until November it is hurricane season and if you live on any coast you should make plans to pull together a Hurricane supply kit.
Number one on your list should be water.
One gallon per day per person and you should have a least a 3 day supply just for drinking. You will also need water for cleaning, and cooking. When you see bottled water on sale pick up what you need and keep for your supply kit during Hurricane season. If there is no hurricane, you can always drink it up when out of season as long as the expiration date is still valid.
With power outages you will not have refrigeration unless you have a generator and when it comes to food supplies canned or non perishable foods are your best.
Crackers, peanut butter, jelly, bread, canned goods, energy bars, granola bars, powdered drink mixes, etc. What ever your family likes consider this for your food supply, and don’t forget you will need a manual can opener if you do not have on already.
Tip: When Hurricane Charley was on its way on the west coast of Florida, we were caught off guard and had a short time to prepare when it turned in early and came through Ft. Myers to us. Coolers went fast, they were hard to find as well as ice and generators. With the ice I could gather up, I packed it in my freezer and moved many items I could freeze from my fridge to the freezer so it would last longer and we could have a chance to use up the food cooking it on the grill after the storm. You should not eat any food that has been in a refrigerator that has been off longer then 4 hours. A well packed freezer will hold your food good for up to two days.
Here are some other items you will need;
Coolers and Ice – You may want to have a separate smaller cooler for any medications that need refrigeration.
Medications: At least a 2 week supply should be on hand
NOAA Weather Radio – Always have a NOAA Weather Radio on hand with batteries. The NOAA Weather Service will keep you up to date for flood warnings, hurricanes, tropical storms and other critical information you will need.
Land Phone – the old fashioned type that does not use batteries or electricity. Do not depend on your cell phone after a storm. We only had one cell phone provider that worked in our entire area after each hurricane. Even though your cell phone may not be able to make a call, you may be able to take pictures of any damages after a storm or go out of the area. Be sure it is fully charged before the storm hits.
First Aid Kit, Insect repellent and sunscreen, moist towelettes and personal hygiene items
Flashlights and Batteries and if someone in your household has an hearing aid, make sure you have extra batteries.
Copies of personal documents like your insurance policies should be placed in a plastic baggie and sealed.
Baby Supplies – bottles, diapers, formula, baby wipes, medication, Baby Tylenol, baby food, blankets, wash clothes.
Pet Supplies – Food, water, ID tag, carrier, leash.
Emergency Blankets and Towels
Extra Clothes for everyone in your family. Laundry will not be available so you may want to consider doing laundry before the storm hits.
Multi Purpose Tool Kit for any repairs needed.
Gasoline -You will need this for a generator and be sure to fill up your vehicle before the storm.
Propane for your gas grill or Charcoal. If you have a gas grill you can cook on that or make use your supply of charcoal.
No ATM’s without electricity. Keep cash on hand for after the storm.
Once a storm hits and the days after you will be glad you have supplies.
You also may want to consider purchasing a floor fan that can be run by your generator.
Don’t forget your neighbors. Check on them after the storm to be sure they are safe.
When floods occur from flash flooding (sudden rapid rising of water along streams or low lying areas) Severe Thunder Storms, Tropical Storms and Hurricanes, the streets and your yard could be covered. The number one catastrophe from flooding is drowning and occurs mostly during flash floods.
If you are under a flood or flash flood warning be prepared to evacuate and head out for higher ground
Always have a NOAA Weather Radio on hand with batteries. The NOAA Weather Service will keep you up to date for flood warnings, hurricanes, tropical storms and other critical information you will need.
Stay Out of The Water
Walking through standing or moving water can be hazardous. Only 6 inches of moving water above your ankles can make you fall. Standing water can also build up microorganisms that contaminate and cause skin disease.
Electricity and Water Do Not Mix
The number two cause of death due to flooding is electricity wires and power lines down and even in the water. Electricity can make a pond or standing water charged and deadly. Stay away from them, do not test to see if they are active. Contact your electrical company immediately if you see power lines or wires in or near any water.
If you had to evacuate, return home when officials have stated the area is safe.
Before you enter your home, check the outside and your property. Look for down power lines and gas lines that may be damaged. If you smell gas or hear a hissing noise, contact the fire department immediately. Keep pets and children away from the water and any dangerous places.
Approach your property carefully and check for any entry way damage, roofs that may be falling down, cracks in walls, windows and any outside damages.
Inside your home may have chemicals such as cleaning supplies, gasoline from the garage, and other things commonly used in the home that are now scattered and need cleaning up. Wear gloves and protective clothing and rubber boots.
Check for snakes, some may be poisonous, and small animals on your property and inside your home, that may have come in with the flood.
Check your food and make sure to throw out anything you question. Throw away anything that has been effected by the flood waters. Do not use the waters for washing dishes or baths, ice cubes, or anything, remember this water is contaminated. Check with your local public heath department for a boil water recommendation or for treatment of any water.
Take pictures right away of any damages as your are checking your property and home for insurance purposes. If you can send the pictures to your email or upload to a photo website where you can store them. If anything happens to your camera or phone that takes pictures, you have a back up.
Contact After The Flood
Go to the RedCross.org/SafeandWell website and register. After a storm or event if you have internet access you can go online and let your friends and family know you are ok. If you do not have internet access you can call 1-800-GET-INFO and register or to let everyone know your ok.
Flood Insurance Tips
Homeowners Insurance does not cover flood damage. Flood Insurance is separate policy. Even if you do not live in a flood zone, consider flood insurance in Florida. Once their is a tropical storm or hurricane, in your area, there is a possibility of flooding. Without flood insurance you will pay out of pocket expenses for the damages. In many cases, it takes 30 days after the purchase for a policy to take effect contact us today for more information.
Call us today to get your questions answered. 863-453-3903
Photo Courtesy of Pixabay.com
July and August bring on the rainy season in Florida with many thunderstorms and lots of rain pouring down in a short amount of time. This can cause street flooding quickly.
When driving in rain, be sure to drive slower than normal. Be aware of other drivers who may lose control and slide into your car. The day can turn cloudy and dark suddenly so if you use your windshield wipers put your lights on too to make it easier for other to see you. If the streets are flooded your brakes may not work, so pump them and don’t drive into water that it is high.
Flooding can happen even if you are not in a flood zone especially when it rains hard. It’s important to remember that your Homeowner’s Insurance doesn’t include flood insurance. You don’t want to be the homeowner who has lost precious items and pay out of pocket for expensive home repairs.
Roof repairs can be caused by wind that occurs during or before heavy rain. Other parts of your home can be damaged too by wind, falling trees or by debris that is picked up by the wind. Although the weather reports keep us informed of storms, there are often heavy rains and windy weather that comes upon Florida suddenly, called freak storms. The need for Homeowner’s Insurance and Mobile Home Insurance in any state is necessary but in Florida it is even more so.