Heavy rain and flooding are on the rise across most of the world. This year, we’ve seen extreme flooding across much of the U.S and in India, China, Northern Europe, and the UK.
There has been heavy rainfall in areas with traditionally mild climates, and scientists say that due to the effects of global warming, we all have to prepare for a more flood-prone future. But what precautions can you take to keep you and your property safe from the worse effects of flooding?
Prepare an Emergency Kit
Putting together an emergency flood kit can help you minimize the risks of heavy rainfall and survive the worst, whether you’re evacuated or stay in your home. Here are some items you should include:
- Emergency cash and credit cards
- Insurance documents
- Prescription medication
- Phones and chargers
- Portable battery radio
- Essential toiletries
- A first aid kit
Speak to Your Neighbors
It’s likely that your neighbors will be just as affected as you are by heavy rainfall. Get to know them so that you can all look after each other and check in on anyone who is vulnerable or needs extra help.
Clean Your Gutters
Make sure your gutters and downspouts are free of leaves or other debris. Gutters are designed to direct water away from your home’s foundations, but if you don’t clean them and they are clogged when heavy rain hits, water can overflow and seep into cracks or gaps.
Also, make sure your storm drains are clean and check street grates for debris.
Examine Your Roof
Check your roof to see if there are any signs of damage, aging, exposure, or sagging. Also, look out for missing tiles or shingles and cracks in the chimney where water could easily get inside.
Secure Your Electrical and Gas Lines
Make sure you know how to turn off your electricity if there is a risk of water getting into wall outlets or electronics. There is also a possibility of gas leaks during heavy rain and floods, and while you might not be able to cut off the gas supply, don’t use any open flames and evacuate your property if you feel unsafe.
Get Up-to-Date Weather Information
Ensure you know when heavy rain is likely to hit by staying up-to-date with the latest weather reports. Flash flooding from short bursts of heavy rainfall is hazardous, so heed any weather warnings and follow the advice from local authorities.
Don’t drive through flood water and get ready to evacuate if you are told to do so.