How to stay safe during and after a flood

Many parts of the world have been experiencing increased rainfall thereby causing torrential flooding in several cities and towns.

Living in heavily flooded areas can result in health challenges such as illnesses, injuries and even death if enough precautions are not taken.

How to stay safe during a flood

Disconnect electrical appliances

Turn off all sockets, bulbs and disconnect all appliances connected to a power source. Also, turn off any gas or furnace that has previously been turned on.

If any of these appliances are at risk of being flooded, move them up to a wooden platform and avoid their direct contact with the water. Also, avoid touching any exposed wires till you can call an electrician.

Move to higher ground

If you’re living in a story building and the water level keeps rising, climb up to the highest level of the house and wait there.

If you’re also living in a bungalow, you can look around the street for the tallest building and ask to stay on the top floor till it’s safe to return to your own house. Avoid buildings that are damaged or shaky. 

Never walk in a flood

No matter how late you are for that event, never attempt to walk through a flooded area, the current of the water will most definitely be too much for your legs to handle.

Stay in a safe place until it’s safe to move around again.

Never drive through a flood

As explained above, the current of a flood can easily overpower a person or even a car.

Even if you notice other people driving through, do not attempt to push through the flood and only wait till it’s safe. 

Abandon any stuck vehicle

If your vehicle gets stuck at any point in a flood, do not keep struggling with the vehicle to move it out.

Do not think the car is a safe place to hide at that point as it is not. Get out of the car and move to the roof of the car to immediately start calling for help.

Always listen to the news before going out

During the rainy season, if you live in an area that easily gets flooded, you should monitor the news on a portable radio in case there has been a power outage.

Listen for flooded areas to be aware of roads and places to avoid. Remain in your house till it’s safe to go out (only if it’s also not flooded. If it is, move to the tallest building in your neighborhood as explained above)

How to stay safe after a flood

Purify your water

The water in a flooded area might be very unsafe for drinking, cooking or bathing. It is very important to boil water obtained from such an area before drinking to avoid diseases such as cholera or diarrhea.

Disinfectants should also be added to the water before being used to bathe to avoid skin diseases such as ringworm and rashes.

Food health

Avoid eating any food that has come in contact with the flood at any point. If any of the food materials have changed taste or smell or color, they should be thrown away immediately.

All canned foods that have been damaged by the flood or opened during the flood should also be thrown away. Don’t keep food items in your refrigerator if the power outage persists. 

Mosquito bites and malaria

Exposed static water are always breeding sources for mosquitoes and these are more common during heavy rainfall. Use mosquito nets in your homes at all times.

Also, apply mosquito repellants when outside your house. Drain all exposed water sources surrounding your house or cover them tightly if they can’t be drained. 

Your safety is of utmost importance 

Do not downplay the possible risks that are attached to living in a flooded area. Take all necessary precautions both during and after a flood and never underestimate the speed and current of a flood.

Trying to salvage a vehicle or property from a flood can be dangerous and lead to loss of life. Remember, your safety is always of utmost importance. 

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