Hurricane Isaac continues its inexorable march along the East Coast having already affected numerous communities across the Southeastern portion of the country. As the storm continues to create severe weather conditions, one of the biggest concerns is the potential for flooding in susceptible areas. Pennsylvania is one such community that might be compromised by flooding, and PennLive is providing tips from the Red Cross to help citizens offset the danger. However, the following tips could just as easily be heeded by any other communities looking to maintain safety in the wake of a flood.
The first thing to do is pay close attention to any local news agencies and emergency weather services so that you can keep up to date on the latest happenings. Such organizations will provide persons in the path of a storm with the latest information about rainfall and potential flash flood situations. Citizens should also be ready to go should an evacuation order be given for a specified area. Such directives are made so as to preserve safety, and the word of local officials should be heeded in these instances. Once evacuated, citizens should only come back to their domiciles once it’s made known that the danger has passed.
It should be noted, though, that sometimes it’s impossible to dodge flood conditions entirely, at which point it’s important to know what to do to avoid danger. If you’re on foot and the water is up to your ankles, take shelter on higher ground immediately. It might only take seconds for the water levels to rise and sweep unsuspecting passersby away. The same goes for if you’re driving and come upon a flooded road. If you are accompanying a child, make sure that he or she also stays out of the water.
There are certain situations where deep water is especially dangerous. It’s hard to see flooding at night, especially if power is out to a given area. It’s also far more dangerous to go inside any building that has been compromised by flood waters. Such areas should be avoided whenever possible. Water surrounding a building is a blatant tipoff that the interior is also flooded.
Power lines pose an immediate threat to persons in the vicinity. If these lines become loose or are torn down completely, not only should citizens stay away, but they should alert the power company to the danger as soon as it is safe to do so.
Floods should be taken seriously by anyone in the path of a storm. By taking the necessary precautions, an individual can ensure that they are not putting themselves and their family at risk.