The local Red Cross wants everyone to become prepared for this flood season and get informed about proper flood safety. Major concerns faced by local and neighboring communities are floods and power outages, which could occur without warning. For information on what to do if or when a flood makes its way into a home or building, the Red Cross provides these important tips:
• Assemble an Emergency Preparedness Kit: Pack a winter-specific supply kit that includes a warm coat, hat, mittens or gloves, water-resistant boots, blankets and extra warm clothing. Also pack essential medications, canned food and opener, bottled water, flashlights, and a battery-powered ratio with extra batteries.• Sand or non-clumping kitty litter is good to have on hand to help make walkways or steps less slippery.• Never use a stove or oven to heat the home and never leave portable heaters or fireplaces unattended.• If a road becomes flooded while driving, turn around and go another way. If caught on a flooded road and waters are rising rapidly, get out of the car quickly and move to higher ground.• Maintain heating equipment and chimneys by having them cleaned and inspected every year. Running water, even at a trickle, helps to prevent pipes from freezing.• A flood WATCH means flooding or flash flooding is possible in the area. A flood WARNING means flooding or flash flooding is already occurring or will occur soon in the area. When a flood or flash flood warning is issued, head for higher ground and stay there.• If power is lost, turn off appliances to reduce damage from a power surge when electricity is restored.• Do not use open flames, such as candles and kerosene lamps, as a source of light.• Be sure to make advanced safety preparations for pets. Be aware that pets may not be allowed in shelters, so contact the local humane society or veterinarian for suggestions.• Avoid disaster areas. Avoid the risk of the residual effects, such as contaminated waters, crumbled roads, landslides, mudflows, and other hazards.• Stay out of floodwaters. Contaminated floodwater can lead to severe infections and the foundations beneath the water could be suffering from damage, resulting in sinking floors that can break or collapse.• Report broken utility lines to the appropriate authorities to prevent electrical hazards and injuries. Check with a local utility company now about where to report broken lines.• Examine walls, floors, doors, staircases, and windows to make sure the building is not in danger of collapsing. Inspect foundations for cracks or other damage, because any damage to a foundation can render a building uninhabitable.• Look for fire hazards. Fire is the most frequent hazard following floods. There may be broken or leaking gas lines, flooded electrical circuits, or submerged furnaces or electrical appliances.• Throw away food that has come in contact with floodwaters. Some canned foods may be salvageable, but if cans are dented or damaged, throw them away.
Telephone: 707-584-2000 Fax: 707-585-1363
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