When I was younger, I used to love when our streets would flood. I would throw on my rain boots, run outside, jump in the massive puddles, and chase around frogs trying to sneak them into my house as pets. Innocent ten-year-old me didn’t realize just how dangerous a flooded street can be, especially if the water isn’t at a standstill. Sometimes I still wonder what my mother was thinking, letting me go outside, throwing goggles on my head, and diving into the street like it was a swimming pool.
Each year, more deaths occur from flooding than any other hazard caused by thunderstorms. While this is usually caused by a car driving on a flooded street full of unsafe water, some steps can be taken to help protect you, your family, and your home.
1. Do not drive on a flooded street.
Whether the street has moving water or the water is at a standstill, do not drive through it. Even just six inches of water can cause you to lose control of your vehicle. There is also the chance that there are objects underneath the water that you cannot see, causing severe damage to your car. This also goes for walking through water. Hence why I should have never been swimming in the street!
2. Listen for water advisories.
During floods, your water may be unsafe to drink. If that is the case, there will be a boil water advisory initiated. During these advisories, it is best to use bottled water, boiled water, or treated water for cooking, drinking, tooth brushing, and more. It should also be said that the floodwater should never be used for eating, drinking, cooking, bathing, and other unsanitary actions.
3. Prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
Generators should be at least 20 feet away from your home, garage, and entryways. This includes windows and vents. Never run your car inside your garage, even if the door is open. Pressure washers should be at least 20 feet away from home, as well.
Source: Flood Safety Tips (cdc.gov)
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