Preparing, cooperating and working as a team with officials, family, neighbors and others will make the flood better for everyone.
The following information from the West Central Health District will help prepare.
• Several clean containers for water, large enough for a 3-5 day supply of water (about five gallons for each person).
• A 3-5 day supply of non-perishable food and a non-electric can opener.
• First aid kit and manual; prescription medicines and special medical needs.
• A battery-powered radio, flashlights, and extra batteries.
• Sleeping bags or extra blankets.
• Water-purifying supplies, such as chlorine or iodine tablets or unscented, ordinary household chlorine bleach.
• Baby food and/or prepared formula, diapers, and other baby supplies.
• Disposable cleaning cloths, such as "baby wipes" for the whole family to use in case bathing facilities are not available.
• Personal hygiene supplies, such as soap, toothpaste, sanitary napkins, etc.
• An emergency kit for your car with food, flares, booster cables, maps, tools, a first aid kit, fire extinguisher, sleeping bags, etc.
• Rubber boots, sturdy shoes, and waterproof gloves.
• Insect repellent containing DEET or Picaridin, screens, or long-sleeved and long-legged clothing for protection from mosquitoes which may gather in pooled water remaining after the flood.
Prepare for worst
• Never ignore an evacuation order. Expect the need to evacuate and prepare for it. Authorities will direct you to leave, if you are within the greatest potential path of flood waters.
• Fill your gas tank and be sure the emergency kit for your vehicle is ready.
• If no vehicle is available make arrangements with friends or family for transportation.
• Identify essential documents such as medical records, insurance cards and identification cards. Put them in a waterproof container and carry them with you.
• Fill some clean water containers.
• Identify shelters for pets. Get livestock and pets to a safe area. Due to food and sanitation requirements, emergency shelters cannot accept animals.
• Review your emergency plan and supplies and replace any missing items.
• A battery powered radio is essential.
• Adjust thermostats on refrigerators and freezers to the coolest setting.
• Track media updates and weather reports.
If a flood warning is issued:
• Take only essential items with you.
• If you have time, turn off the gas, electricity and water.
• Disconnect all electrical appliances and equipment.
• Do not try to walk or drive across creeks or flooded roads.
Flood safety tips:
• If you walk through swiftly flowing water, you risk drowning, regardless of your ability to swim.
• Fast moving shallow water can be deadly, and shallow standing water can be dangerous, especially for small children. Keep kids away from storm and flood water. Avoid wading in standing water which may contain broken glass and debris.
• Cars or other vehicles do not provide protection from flood waters. They may be swept away or break down.
• Be alert to electrical and fire hazards. Stay clear of fallen power lines. Call the power company to report down lines.
• During clean up, if electrical equipment or circuits have gotten wet or are in or near water, turn them off at the circuit breaker or fuse at the service panel. do not turn the power back on until it has been inspected and declared safe by a qualified electrician.
• Wash your hands frequently with clean water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Disinfect toys that may have come in contact with storm water.
• Clean up and prevent mold growth. Dry out-buildings as quickly as possible.
• Clean wet objects and surfaces with a bleach solution of 1 cup per 5 gallons of water.
• If you receive a puncture wound or a wound contaminated with soil, sewer or storm water, treat with soap and clean water and apply an antibiotic ointment. Contact your medical provider to find out if a tetanus shot is needed.
• Remove standing water quickly. Discard wet, absorbent materials that cannot be thoroughly cleaned and dried.
• When fumes are not a problem and if safe electricity is available, remove moisture by closing windows and running a dehumidifier or window air conditioner.
• Limit contact with flood water. Do not breath mist from flood water; it can be contaminated by oil, gasoline or raw sewage.
• Clean and disinfect everything that gets wet. Mud left from flooding can also contain deadly contaminates.
• Keep children away from mud and make sure they do not play with anything that may have become polluted by flood water or sludge.
• If the safety of your water is in question, use bottled water or bring tap water to a rolling boil for at least one minute and let it cool before use.
• Children are at greater risk than adults from contaminates carried by flood water. Since they dehydrate faster, they need to drink plenty of fluids.