Preparing For Disaster: Floods
Natural disasters can strike at any moment, but you can be prepared when they do happen. Being familiar with what natural disasters affect the San Antonio area is the first step in getting prepared. It is then important to know what to expect and what to do if a situation arises. Planning can be the difference between a bad situation and a catastrophic one. You should also inform your family or co-workers on what to do if a disaster were to happen in your home or commercial building. When disaster strikes, the time to prepare has passed.
Over the past couple years, flooding has been a major problem in and around San Antonio and the Texas Hill Country. Storms can roll through bringing torrential rain. The large amount of rain is not absorbed by the ground quick enough, so the water will run off and accumulate in low-lying areas. Water will also run into creeks, rivers, and ponds causing the water level to rise. Both bodies of water and low-lying areas can quickly accumulate water and the water can rise very fast.
If the forecast is calling for heavy rain, it is a good idea to stay up-to-date on the threat level. A flood or flash flood warning means that flooding is possible and you should be prepared to possibly carry out your emergency plan. A flood or flash flood watch means that flooding is occurring or will occur soon. If your San Antonio home or business is prone to flooding, you will be told to evacuate the area.
When planning for an emergency, the first step is getting basic supplies together. Some of these items include water, canned food, first aid supplies, and batteries for radios and flashlights. These items should be kept together in a separate area from where they would usually be stored, and everyone in your home or office should know where it is located in the event that an emergency were to occur. It is also a good idea to keep important documents – birth certificates, medical records, insurance cards - in this box/area. If a flood warning is issued, fill your gas tank and move your emergency items into your car. If you do not own a car, make arrangements with family, friends, or neighbors for transportation. Gather family and pets, if possible. If your pets will not fit in a car with you, or if you own livestock and are unable take them, find a safe area to move them to. You should also adjust refrigerator thermostats to the coolest possible temperature in case the power goes out.
If you are told that you need to evacuate, you should leave as soon as possible; never ignore this order! It is advised to turn off your water, electricity, and gas and to unplug appliances, if you have time, to reduce the possibility of additional damage. Those of us who have grown up in the area, have heard the saying a thousand times – “Turn Around, Don’t Drown”. Don’t ever attempt to walk or drive through flood waters. You cannot be sure of how deep the water actually is, nor can you properly gauge the strength of the moving water.
Flooding is common in our area and being prepared is essential to avoid making a bad situation worse than it needs to be. If your home or business experiences flood or water damage, SERVPRO of Helotes and Leon Springs will be there to make it “Like It Never Even Happened”. Call us at (210) 973-7636