Rainfall and snow melt have caused widespread flooding throughout the Midwest recently, causing areas that are normally dry to be submerged in water.
While flooding is the most common natural disaster in the United States, it can have incredibly devastating consequences on a community.
The National Weather Service provides alerts to the public when flooding is occurring or about to occur. A Flood Advisory notifies the public to be alert and use caution as a flood watch may be forthcoming. A Flood Watch notifies the public to be prepared as flooding conditions are possible. A Flood Warning notifies the public to take action immediately as flooding is imminent or already occurring.
Flooding causes a great deal of risks to health and life for persons, pets, and livestock including:
Transmission of communicable diseases
Transmission of bacterial infections
Transmission of fungal infections
The erosion of water can also have devastating effects to property including:
Personal property damage
Road damage and sinkholes
Agricultural land damage
It’s important to know your risk and prepare accordingly so you can mitigate flood damage and loss.
• Prepare an evacuation plan for your home that includes your pets
• Assemble a ‘grab and go’ disaster preparedness kit for your home or vehicle that contains items that will allow you and your family to survive on your own. An example can be found here.
• If you must travel, do not drive into areas with standing water as only 6 inches of water can cause your vehicle to be swept away. Current road closures in Iowa can be accessed here.
• If you get caught in a vehicle swept away by flood water, the doors of your car can open when the vehicle is submerged. Once the door is open, enter into the flowing water with your toes facing downstream.
• Move valuables within your home or business to a higher location
• If high water is approaching, turn off the gas and power source for all major appliances
• Whenever possible, do not attempt to walk or swim through contaminated water
• Evacuate when necessary