Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Flood Preparations

Jesse Fulbright, MSU Liberty County Extension

I have noticed a growing number of articles as well as conversations around the area that are centering on our potential for flooding.  While we have welcomed the moisture that our heavy snowfalls may have, the accompanying rising waters in our water tables, creeks and rivers is not welcome if everything melts off too quickly.  This week I have some tips to pass along to everyone about how to be prepared for flooding in case you find yourself in a potentially wet situation.  These resources can also be found on the Yellowstone County website under their Disaster and Emergency Services site.
Watch for flood conditions that could arise from melting snow and ice. 
Photo courtesy of KRTV News.
In our situations, we need to know what to do before a potential flood.  First, know your evacuation route.  Inside your home, think about moving furniture and belongings to upper floors, especially if you have fears of basement seepage.  Along with that, disconnect electrical appliances or equipment that can't be moved, and keep a stock of food that requires little or no cooking or refrigeration; electric power may be disrupted.  Store drinking water in clean bathtubs and other containers. (1 gallon per day per person.)  For food and water, I would suggest using containers that can be quickly moved or grabbed in case of a hurried exit.  Using regular backpacks or hiking backpacks for each member of the family is one way of accomplishing this in an organized manner.

Outside your home, think about the following ways to be prepared.  If you are on a farm or ranch, move livestock and equipment to higher ground.  Secure or tie down outside possessions.  Keep your automobile fueled - gas pumps will probably lose power.
For overall preparedness, keep first aid supplies on hand.   Also consider keeping a NOAA Weather radio, a battery powered portable radio, emergency cooking equipment and flashlights in working order.  Install check valves in building sewer traps to prevent flood water from backing up into the drains of your home.  Finally, think about keeping materials on hand like sandbags, plastic sheeting, plywood and lumber handy for emergency water proofing.

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