Overcoming flooding scenarios

Published 7:00 am Thursday, October 13, 2016

Although Hurricane Matthew has moved out to pasture in the Atlantic, the effect still haunts thousands of people living in my home state of North Carolina.

Never could I have imagined neighboring cities around my hometown being submerged. Witnessing the record flooding in southern Louisiana a couple months ago and seeing all the families struggling just to make it day-to-day struck a chord, and now seeing such a disaster happen again has me dumbfounded.

If I were still in North Carolina, I could honestly say I would not have been prepared for the flooding, because like most people in the world, I would have never thought it would happen to me.

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Being educated on how to be prepared for a flood could save the lives of those who might be threatened by situations in the future.

First things first, the safety of you and your loved ones needs to be the top priority. Prized possessions can be replaced, but the lives of family and friends cannot. So, to prepare for flooding, you must check with your local government about flood response plans and evacuation sites. Also, preparing an emergency kit is can come in handy if a disastrous flood occurs in a short amount of time.

The American Red Cross recommends that each flood emergency kit contain at least three days worth of food and water (one gallon per person each day), a flashlight, battery-powered or hand-crank radio, first aid kit, medication, multi-purpose tools, sanitation and personal hygiene items, personal documents, cellphone, extra cash, baby and pet supplies, extra clothing and rain gear.

When returning after a flood and before entering your home, make sure that there are no loose power lines, damaged gas lines, foundation damage or any other damage to the exterior your home. Also, it is common after floods for water to be contaminated, so make sure to check with local or state health departments for recommendations for boiling or treating water in your area after a disaster.