Tuesday, March 23, 2010

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Floods happen in Utah! It’s important for us all to prepare ourselves and our families for rising water. Here are some tips to get you started:

Know What to Expect
Know your area's flood risk. If unsure, call your local Red Cross chapter, emergency management office, or planning and zoning department.
Check to see if you have insurance that covers flooding. If not, find out how to get flood insurance.

Keep insurance policies, documents, and other valuables in a safe-deposit box.
If it has been raining hard for several hours, or steadily raining for several days, be alert to the possibility of a flood. Listen to local radio or TV stations for flood information.

Reduce Potential Flood Damage
Raise your furnace, water heater, and electric panel if they are in areas of your home that may be flooded.

Consult with a professional for further information if this and other damage reduction measures can be taken.

Assemble a Disaster Supplies Kit

First aid kit and essential medications.

Food Items. Select food that lasts a long time. If canned food, pack a can opener.
At least three gallons of water per person

Protective clothing, rainwear, and bedding or sleeping bags.

Battery-powered radio, flashlight, and extra batteries.
Special items for infants, elderly, or disabled family members.

Written instructions for how to turn off electricity, gas and water if authorities advise you to do so. (Remember, you'll need a professional to turn them back on.)

Identify where you could go if told to evacuate. Choose several places such as a friend's home in another town, a motel or a shelter.

Flood Watch versus Flood Warning

A flood WATCH means a flood is possible in your area. If a flood watch is issued:

Move your furniture and valuables to higher floors of your home.

Fill your car's gas tank, in case an evacuation notice is issued.

Be alert to signs of flash flooding and be ready to evacuate on a moment's notice.

A flood WARNING means flooding is already occurring or will occur soon in your area. If a flood warning is issued:

Listen to local radio and TV stations for information and advice. If told to evacuate, do so as soon as possible.

If you think it has already started, evacuate immediately. You may have only seconds to escape. Act quickly!

Move to higher ground away from rivers, streams, creeks, and storm drains. Do not drive around barricades they are there for your safety.

If your car stalls in rapidly rising waters, abandon it immediately and climb to higher ground.

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