Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Flash Flood Sarety Tips

We've got some crazy weather heading our way, so I'm passing along the County's severe storm safety tips. Flash floods develop from intense storms dropping large amounts of water in a short time, and they can occur with little or no warning. During periods of urban flooding, streets can become swift moving rivers and basements can fill with water.

Flooding Facts:
• Swiftly moving floodwaters only 6 inches deep can sweep you off your feet.
• Nearly half of all flash flood fatalities are people in vehicles. If your vehicle stalls, leave it immediately and seek higher ground.
• Roads covered by floodwaters could already be washed away, so don’t drive across roads that are not visible.

After A Flood:
• Do not strike a match or use an open flame when you enter a flooded house. Use a flashlight. Escaping gas could cause an explosion, and flammables may be present.
• Watch for live electrical wires. Do not attempt to turn on electrical appliances or lights until an electrician has checked your system.
• Open doors and windows to let air circulate, remove foul odors, and vent built-up gases.
• Pump out the basement if it is flooded, but do so gradually.
• If fresh food or open medications have come in contact with floodwater, throw them out.
• Boil drinking water for at least one minute before using, or use safe bottled water.
• If your home is supplied by well water and you think your well may be contaminated from flooding, you must disinfect the water before using. Contact the County’s Well and Septic Division for further information at 240-777-6319.
• If you have insured loss, call your insurance company to make a claim. Most insurance policies do not cover flood damage. Purchase flood insurance from the National Flood Insurance Program or a private insurance company. For further information, ask your insurance company, call the Federal Emergency Management Agency at 1-800-427-4661, or check their website at .

Ways To Mitigate Future Flood Damage:
• Raise your washer and dryer, water heater, oil tank, and furnace on concrete blocks.
• Install and maintain a sump pump system in below-ground floors.
• Install backflow valves on sewer lines to prevent sewer lines from backing up.
• Clear debris from ditches and culverts. For emergencies, call 911 immediately. For information about County programs and services, call 311 between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m., or go anytime to the call center’s online portal at

No comments: