Causes of Flooding

  • Heavy rain over several days or intense rainfall in a short period.
  • Debris or ice jams blocking rivers or streams, causing overflow.
  • Failure of water control structures like levees or dams.

Flood-Prone Areas

  • Valleys, plains, canyons, swamplands, coasts, and near large bodies of water.
  • Hurricanes pose significant flooding risks, especially in saturated areas.

Before Floods

  • Stay informed through radio, TV, or cellphone alerts.
  • Differentiate between flood watch (possible flooding) and flood warning (flooding imminent).
  • Prepare an emergency survival kit with essentials for at least three days.
  • Clear drainage systems to prevent property damage.

Evacuate if Necessary

  • Head for higher ground immediately when a flood warning is issued.
  • Secure your home before evacuating, bringing essential items to higher floors.
  • Turn off utilities and disconnect electrical appliances to avoid hazards.

Flash Flooding

  • Act immediately if flash flooding is possible; move to higher ground.
  • Be cautious near streams, drainage channels, and canyons, where flash floods can occur suddenly.

Safety Precautions

  • Avoid walking or driving through floodwaters; six inches of moving water can knock you off your feet.
  • If driving, do not attempt to cross flooded roads; turn around and find an alternate route.
  • Remember, even shallow floodwater can sweep away vehicles.

Remember: “Turn around, don’t drown!” Take flooding seriously and prioritize safety at all times.

Water Storage

One of the most common questions during emergency preparedness is how long water can be safely stored. Let’s delve into practical methods to ensure your stored water remains safe for consumption.

  1. Understanding Water Categories:
    • Wild Water: Natural sources like rainwater or streams.
    • Stored Water: Treated at a municipal site and often supplemented with additives like chlorine.
    • Treated Water: Chemically treated, filtered, or purified through various methods.
  2. Why Water Goes Bad:
    • Microorganisms: Can render water undrinkable or toxic.
    • Chemical Contamination: From previous non-water substances or improper containers.
    • Surrounding Chemicals: Leaching from the environment.
  3. Proper Storage Methods:
    • Container: Use opaque, food-grade containers to prevent light exposure and chemical leaching.
    • Additives: Consider adding chlorine or hydrogen peroxide to inhibit microbial growth.
    • Airtight Seal: Keep containers sealed to prevent air exchange and contamination.
    • Temperature Stability: Store in a cool, stable environment to prevent bacterial proliferation.
  4. Recommended Chemical Additions:
    • Chlorine: 8 drops of 6% sodium hypochlorite bleach per gallon.
    • Hydrogen Peroxide: 8 drops of 3% hydrogen peroxide per gallon.
  5. Avoiding Chemical Contamination:
    • Use only containers labeled as food-grade or specifically designed for water storage.
    • Avoid reusing containers that previously held non-water substances.
  6. Storage Quantity:
    • Aim for at least a three-week supply per person and pet.
    • General rule: 1 gallon per person per day, but consider storing more.
  7. Water Rotation:
    • While technically water can be stored indefinitely if properly treated, it’s advisable to rotate every six months.
    • Rotation ensures water remains fresh and helps identify any storage issues early on.
  8. Testing and Treatment:
    • Before consuming stored water, filter and aerate it to improve taste and remove any lingering chemicals.
    • Have multiple filtration options on hand for safety.
  9. Continuous Monitoring:
    • Regularly check stored water for any signs of discoloration, odor, or taste abnormalities.
    • Stay informed about local water quality reports and adjust storage and treatment methods accordingly.

By following these guidelines, you can confidently store water for emergencies, ensuring a safe and reliable supply for you and your family. Remember, preparedness is key to staying safe in uncertain situations.