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Prepare for Flooding

Prepare Now! Get Ready for Flooding!

Floods are one of the most common hazards in the United States. New England is consistently threatened by severe storms and heavy rains throughout the spring and summer seasons. While heavy rains themselves can pose a significant threat, the combination of spring rainfall and winter snow melt can lead to hazardous flooding conditions thorughout the state. Some floods develop slowly, sometimes over a period of days. Other floods, flash floods, can develop quickly, sometimes in just a few minutes and without any visible signs of rain. As with most potential disasters: preparedness, monitoring the Media and common sense can minimize the danger to you and your family if your are faced with a flooding hazard. The following tips can also help you protect you before, during and after a flood event.

Before a Flood Threatens

  • Know the terms used by weather forecasters:
    • Flood Watch – Flooding is possible. Tune in to NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio, or television for information.
    • Flash Flood Watch – Flash flooding is possible. Be prepared to move to higher ground; listen to NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio, or television for information.
    • Flood Warning – Flooding is occurring or will occur soon; if advised to evacuate, do so immediately.
    • Flash Flood Warning – A flash flood is occurring; seek higher ground on foot immediately.
  • Learn more about the National Flood Insurance Program.
  • Purchase flood insurance.
  • Avoid building in a floodprone area unless you elevate and reinforce your home.
  • Elevate the furnace, water heater, and electric panel if susceptible to flooding.
  • Install "check valves" in sewer traps to prevent floodwater from backing up into the drains of your home.
  • Contact community officials to find out if they are planning to construct barriers (levees, beams, floodwalls) to stop floodwater from entering the homes in your area.
  • Seal the walls in your basement with waterproofing compounds to avoid seepage.
  • Everyone should have supplies which would prepared them to survive on their own for at least three days. There should be some non-perishable food, bottled water, flashlights and extra batteries around the house, along with a portable radio or NOAA Weather Radio in case of power outages or other emergencies caused by a winter storm.
  • Additional items that should be included on your Flood Preparedness Kit are a freshly-stocked first-aid kit, essential prescription medicines, non-perishable foods (those that require no refrigeration such as canned goods, dried fruits and nuts), a non-electric can opener, water (one gallon per person, per day), baby-care items, extra blankets, sleeping bags and a fire extinguisher.
  • Those who already have an All-Hazard Emergency Supply Kit, as RIEMA continues to suggest, should be in fine shape already.
  • As always, make sure you have a ‘Family Emergency Communication Plan.’