Flood Survival Tips | How To Survive Before, During, And After A Flood

When it comes to flood survival, it is important to know as much as you can about this natural disaster. There is no need to be reminded of the devastation caused by floods since they happen every year in our country. Properties are destroyed, lives are lost, and recovery is painful and difficult. You have two goals when it comes to natural disasters. One: Survive. Two: Recover. With the proper knowledge of flood survival, you can do both excellently. Here's how!

Critical Flood Survival Tips You Should Know!

Before a Flood

Remember: Where there is rain, there may be a flood. Preparing for this natural disaster is still the best way to ensure survival. Know the history of your area when it comes to flooding. Preparing before a disaster strikes will give you a higher chance of survival, plus recovery will be easier and faster. You may even save a good portion of your property. It is important to note though, life matters more than any of the property you have.
See more at http://www.ready.gov/floods.

1. Build an Emergency Kit

Build an Emergency Kit | Flood Survival Tips | How To Survive Before, During, And After A Flood
Deluxe 3-Day Emergency Preparedness Kit Photo by American Red Cross

This is a comprehensive flood survival kit list as suggested by the American Red Cross. You can also check this emergency survival kit list: Survival Life’s Comprehensive Checklist For A 72 Hour Survival Kit

2. Make a Family Communications Plan

Make a Family Communications Plan | Flood Survival Tips | How To Survive Before, During, And After A Flood
Preparing for Emergencies: Ready in 3 Photo by The City of Columbus

Communication is essential to flood survival for you and members of your family.

3. Avoid Property Construction in a Floodplain

Avoid Property Construction in a Floodplain | Flood Survival Tips | How To Survive Before, During, And After A Flood
Flood Plain Photo by Thomas Township

Try to build on higher ground to avoid being hit by floods.

4. Put Up Barriers

Build floodwalls, levees, or beams to prevent floodwater from rushing to your home, fast.

5. Seal Your Basement

Seal Your Basement | Flood Survival Tips | How To Survive Before, During, And After A Flood
Enjoy your Investment with Foundation Waterproofing Photo by Vendermicasa
Waterproof your basement and protect it from seepage by sealing the walls, cracks, and crevices. There is a greater chance of protecting your property and yourself with a sealed basement.

6. Look for Warnings

Flood Survival Tips | How to Survive Natural Disasters by Survival Life at http://survivallife.com/2015/05/18/flood-survival-tips-natural-disaster-survival

Monitor a central weather station or local news for flood warnings or updates. Continue reading here.

7. Check Gutters, Downspouts, and Drains

Check Gutters, Downspouts, and Drains | Flood Survival Tips | How To Survive Before, During, And After A Flood
Best Gutter Cleaning Tips – How to Get Rid Debris and Simple Repair Tips Photo by Better Housekeeper

Clogged drains and gutters can destroy your roof and let water in your home faster than you can save everything in it. Regularly clear your roof of debris.

8. Clear the Floor

Move electronics and furniture off the floor and transfer them to higher and secured places.

9. Roll up your Rugs

Wet rugs are bad news for your wallet and your health. Roll them up and secure them well so they don't get wet and moldy or totally destroyed.

10. Prepare an Evacuation Kit

Prepare an Evacuation Kit | Flood Survival Tips | How To Survive Before, During, And After A Flood
DIY Family And Home Management Binder + Free Printables Photo by Penelope's Oasis

Secure your important documents in sealed or waterproof bags. Trying to reapply for these documents again after a calamity can be a hassle, and having these documents handy will help you when you need assistance.

11. Inspect Sump Pumps and Drains to Ensure Proper Operation

Inspect Sump Pumps and Drains to Ensure Proper Operation | Flood Survival Tips | How To Survive Before, During, And After A Flood
Way Electrical Floor Plan Of Wire Well Pump Wiring Diagram Chandelier Light Romex Photo by Jenny Lares

Flood survival requires many steps, like inspecting the sump pump in your basement. Get your sump pump fresh batteries.

12. Turn off the Power

Flood Survival Tips | How to Survive Natural Disasters by Survival Life at http://survivallife.com/2015/05/18/flood-survival-tips-natural-disaster-survival
Electrical Panel Projects Installing A Circuit Breaker Photo by Danny Chesnut

One way to achieve flood survival is by turning off the power supply to your home. Turn off the main breaker of your electrical system.

13. Move your Appliances

Elevate all your electrical appliances. See more here.

During an Evacuation

  • If asked to evacuate, do so immediately.
  • Make sure that every person in your family has the same contact person (friend or family member) in case you should become separated during the evacuation.
  • Listen to a battery-operated radio for evacuation instructions.
  • Follow recommended evacuation routes.
  • Leave early to avoid being trapped by flooded roadways.

Click here to know more.

Survival During Floods

Survival During Floods | Flood Survival Tips | How To Survive Before, During, And After A Flood
Survival During Floods Photo by Science on the Environmentalist

This overflow of large volumes of water is the effect of many events: heavy rainfall, damaged levee or dam, or the melting of ice up in the mountains. The destructive power of floods should never be underestimated. Houses, cars, trees and even bridges do not stand a chance against the treacherous waters.

It is important to remember that there is more to a flood than water. The debris it carries are not always visible and doubles the flood's destructive power. During a flood, going for higher ground as soon as possible could be your best chance of flood survival. Flood survival may seem impossible when everything is in deep water. These tips could help you stay safe when caught in a flood:

1. Find Higher Ground

Getting to higher ground is instinctive when there is a flood. But you also have to be smart about it. Make sure the structure is secure and stable. If you're going up hills or mountains, watch out for landslides and flash floods.

2. Avoid Streams and Roads

Attempting to cross rushing waters or driving through flooded roads is extremely dangerous. Avoid doing so at all cost.

3. Go to the Roof

Flood Survival Tips | How to Survive Natural Disasters by Survival Life at http://survivallife.com/2015/05/18/flood-survival-tips-natural-disaster-survival
Go to the Roof Photo by Washington Post

Go to the highest part of your home or the roof as soon as the water starts to rise too fast.

4. Listen for Updates

Keep a battery-operated radio in your preparedness stash. Getting fresh information about the disaster you are in is vital to your survival. Any new development will help you calculate or plan your next move.

5. Keep Utilities Powered Off

Whether it's electricity, gas, or water, try turning them all off before the water starts coming in.

6. Stay Clean

Flood waters are almost always filled with contaminants and water-borne diseases. Whether you have open cuts and wounds or not, stay clean to prevent infection. More info available at floodsmart.gov.

7. Know Your Surroundings

Flood Survival Tips | How to Survive Natural Disasters by Survival Life at http://survivallife.com/2015/05/18/flood-survival-tips-natural-disaster-survival
Know Your Surroundings Photo by Country Financial

It pays to check the landscape and history of your area for floods and other natural disasters. Rivers, dams, streams, and canyons are high-risk areas for floods. See more here.

8. Watch for Evacuation Orders

This is related to the previous flood survival tip. Knowing your area will help you plan your route to an evacuation area.

9. Don't Drive Around Barricades

Don't Drive Around Barricades | How To Survive Before, During, And After A Flood
Superstorm Sandy leaves destruction, darkness and death in its wake Photo by The Dark Room

Flood survival is easy if you are extra careful.

10. Don't Risk It

Stay away from a flooded road or turn around, whether you are walking or driving.

11. Evacuate Your Vehicle

If your car gets caught in flood water get out of it as quickly as you safely can and get to higher ground. Click here to view or download this quick reference guide.

After the Flood

After the Flood | How To Survive Before, During, And After A Flood
Hope for Flood Victims Desperate to Return Home as Rivers Finally Start to Recede Photo by Daily Mail Reporter

Flood survival is also about believing that the disaster always has to end and the human spirit is stronger.

1. Check the News

Listen to news updates for warning of water contamination and safety precautions against the spread of disease or social unrest.

2. Avoid Floodwaters

Floodwaters may have not yet receded in some areas so steer clear of these areas as they may be deep, muddy, or contaminated.

3. Keep Off of Flooded Roads

Keep Off of Flooded Roads | How To Survive Before, During, And After A Flood
Area rivers continue to flood; dry-out expected this weekend (Video) Photo by Q13 Fox

Waters may have receded in some roads but it might not be safe to drive in yet. The road may have softened and could give in while you drive through it.

4. Enter Buildings with Caution

Take great caution when inspecting homes and buildings as there may be dangers lurking by.

5. Keep Your Home Clean

As we've stated, flood water may be contaminated with sewage and chemicals. Make sure to not only clean but disinfect your property or your things before you come into contact with them. Read more.

6. Avoid Electrical Wires

Keep away from electrical wires and knocked power lines — electrocution is often a major cause of death in floods. It is also best to report the situation to authorities. Continue reading.

7. Check for Animals

Both dead and alive snakes and other dangerous animals may have been swept with the flood. Exercise precaution when clearing up debris in your property.

8. Be Alert for Gas Leaks

Keeping flashlights handy is very important. Avoid using matches or candles to inspect your place and use flashlights instead to avoid the risk of igniting a gas-contaminated area. Click here to learn more.

9. Repair Sewage Systems

Whether in a flood or not, a broken-down sewage system poses serious health threats–more so after a flood. Make sure to report damaged sewage system to authorities and fix it first as soon as possible.

10. Disinfect Everything

 Disinfect Everything | How To Survive Before, During, And After A Flood
How To Clean Your House After Flooding Photo by Howtogetrid.org

Flood survival is also about getting up and moving on. Floodwater can be contaminated and affect everything it came in contact with. Clean up and disinfect everything you can still save before you use them. See more.

Here is an infographic from the CDC to make prepping a bit easier:

Infographic | Flood Survival Tips | How To Survive Before, During, And After A Flood
Key Facts About Flood Readiness Photo by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Getting ready and armed with the proper flood survival know-how can mean the difference between survival and demise in this kind of natural disaster (or any other, for that matter). Knowing flood safety tips and flood survival rules can lessen the impact of this natural disaster on you and your family. Whether a flood is coming, happening, or has passed, take heed of these tips to help you get through the ordeal.

What would you do yourself to prepare for a flood or survive one? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below!

Infographic | Flood Survival Tips | How To Survive Before, During, And After A Flood

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The contents of this article are for informational purposes only. Please read our full disclaimer.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on May 18, 2015, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.

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