PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — It is Severe Weather Awareness Week, and today we are talking about Flood safety.
When it is flooding, move to higher ground and stay away from storm drains, ditches, and streams. Stay away from flooded areas. Never walk or swim in floodwaters.
If you have to walk in water, walk where the water isn’t moving. Use a stick to check the firmness of the ground in front of you.
Driving into water of unknown depths or around barricades is dangerous, especially at night. If floodwaters rise around your car, abandon the car and move to higher ground if you can do so safely.
Just six inches of moving water can knock you down, and one foot of moving water can sweep your vehicle away. Turn Around, Don’t Drown!
Gather emergency supplies, including non-perishable food and water. Store at least 1 gallon of water per day for each person and each pet.
If evacuation appears necessary, turn off all utilities at the main power switch and close the main gas valve. Bring in outdoor items (lawn furniture, grills, trash cans) or tie them down securely.
Be aware of streams, drainage channels, canyons, and other areas known to flood suddenly. Flash floods can occur in these areas with or without such typical warnings as rain clouds or heavy rain.
After flooding, remove water from your flooded home slowly. Drain it in stages, about one-third of the volume daily. If the ground is still saturated and water is removed too quickly, the walls or the floor could buckle.
Use pumps or pails to remove standing water, then a wet/dry shop vacuum to mop up the rest.
Listen for boil water advisories. Local authorities will let you know if your water is safe for drinking and bathing.
Throw away any food and bottled water that comes/may have come into contact with floodwater.
Prevent carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. Use generators at least 20 feet from any doors, windows, or vents. If you use a pressure washer, be sure to keep the engine outdoors and 20 feet from windows, doors, or vents as well.
Never run your car or truck inside a garage that is attached to a house, even with the garage door open.
The initial damage caused by a flood is not the only risk. Standing floodwater can also spread infectious diseases, chemical hazards and cause injuries.
Practice safe cleaning. Remove and throw out drywall and insulation that was contaminated with floodwater or sewage. Throw out items that cannot be washed and cleaned with a bleach solution
Homeowners may want to temporarily store items outside the home until insurance claims can be filed.