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BEFORE A FLOOD
SEWAGE BACKFLOW VALVE INSTALLATION NEW!
DEVELOP AN EMERGENCY COMMUNICATION PLAN
DURING A FLOOD WATCH
DURING A FLOOD
DURING AN EVACUATION


BEFORE A FLOOD

   -Find out if you live in a flood-prone area from your local emergency management agency and by finding out the flood history of your area..
   -Find out whether your property is above or below flood level.
   -Be aware of your community's warning system for flooding.
  
-Study flood preparation literature and start putting the information into practice.
   -If you live in an area that is frequently prone to flooding, stockpile emergency building materials,  including plywood, plastic sheeting, lumber nails, hammer and saw, pry bar, shovels, and sandbags.
   -Have check valves installed in building sewer traps to prevent flood waters from backing up in sewer drains.
   -As a last resort, use large corks or stoppers to plug showers, tubs, or basins.  
   -Have an evacuation plan and route. Be sure to practice the evacuation procedures before a true emergency occurs. Find out what the community's evacuation plan is from the local emergency management agency. This should contain the safest routes to shelters. Make sure that you have several route planned, in case the first and/or second choices are flooded out.

  -Have disaster supplies on hand.
       -Flashlights and extra batteries
         -Portable, battery-operated radio and extra batteries
         -First aid kit and manual
         -Emergency food and water
         -Non-electric can opener
         -Essential medicines
         -Cash and credit cards
         -Sturdy shoes

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Prevent Sewage Backflow By Installing Sewage Backflow Valves
Once you have determined that your home is in an area that has a significant flooding threat, you should think about installing sewage backflow valves. These valves stop sewage from reentering your home due to sewage system backups that are caused by floods. If these types of valves are not in place, sewage can backup through toilets and drains, causing quite a mess and introducing harmful bacteria into your home. Backflow valves come in a variety of types and range in complexity – from simple flap valves to complex gate valves. Although gate valves provide the stronger defense against backflow, these valves must be initiated by hand. This could be a hindrance to flood conditions that develop with little warning. The simple flap valve works by opening when sewage is moving the right direction, and slapping shut when it moves in the wrong direction. The flap valve works automatically, but does not have as tight of a seal as the gate valve. There are many that have a combination of both valves as well.

Installation must be done by a licensed plumber or contractor to be done according to legal codes for the safety of you and your family.Gate valves are more expensive, usually running from $500-$600. Flap valves usually run the price range of $375-$475. Ask a plumber or contractor as to which kind would be most beneficial to you. Valves should be installed on all pipes that leave the house or that are connected to equipment that is below the potential flood level. So valves may be needed on washing machine drain lines, laundry sinks, fuel oil lines, rain downspouts, and sump pumps, as well as sewer/septic connections. If you have a sump pump, it may be connected to underground drain lines. These are very difficult to seal off.

Although, backflow valve installation is not a cheap fix, it is an invaluable investment when flooding is a problem in your area. A little money spent now could save a lot of money and headaches in the future.

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Develop an emergency communication plan

  -Should the family be separated during a flood or flash flood, have a plan to meet up at a designated location, and/or a way to communicate with each other.

  -Arrange with an out-of-state relative or friend to serve as a designated contact person, due to it being easier to call long distance than locally after a disaster. Make sure everyone in the family knows the name, address, and phone number of the contact person.

  -Make sure that all family members know how to respond after a flood or flash flood.

  -Teach all family members how and when to turn off gas, electricity, and water.   

  -Teach children how and when to call 9-1-1, police, fire department, and which radio station to tune to for emergency information.

  -Learn about the National Flood Insurance Program.

  -Ask your insurance agent about flood insurance. Homeowners policies do not cover flood damage.

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DURING A FLOOD WATCH
  -Listen to local TV and radio stations for the latest storm information.
  -Have a battery operated radio available in case of loss of power so that you can continue to monitor the situation.
  -Fill bathtubs, sinks, and jugs with clean water in case water becomes contaminated.
  -Bring outdoor belongings, such as patio furniture, indoors.
  -If time allows move all valuable items from lower floors to higher ones.
  -If you are instructed to do so by local authorities, turn off all utilities at the main switch and close the main gas valve.
  -Be prepared to evacuate.

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DURING A FLOOD

If Indoors:

  -Turn on battery-operated radio or television to get the latest emergency information.
  -Get your preassembled emergency supplies.
  -If told to leave, do so immediately.

If Outdoors:

  -Climb to high ground and stay there.
  -Avoid walking through any floodwaters. If it is moving swiftly, even water 6 inches deep can sweep you off your feet.

If In A Car:
  -If you come to a flooded area, turn around and go another way.
  -If your car stalls, abandon it immediately and climb to higher ground. Many deaths have resulted from attempts to move stalled vehicles.

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DURING AN EVACUATION
  -If advised to evacuate, do so immediately.
  -Remember that evacuation will be simpler and safer if you do so when you are advised.
 
-Have a battery operated radio available to listen to further evacuation instructions.
  -
Do not try to take short cuts. They may be blocked. Stick to designated evacuation routes.
  -Leave early enough to avoid being marooned by flooded roads.

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SOURCE: The American Red Cross

 

 

 
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