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Tips For Floods

TYPES OF FLOODING

 

A flood is defined as an overflow of water that submerges land which is normally dry. In the United States, there are various causes for flooding, including:
Flash Floods: Flash floods usually develop shortly after a nearby heavy rain. I say nearby because it doesn’t have to be raining at your location for rising water to endanger you. These floods create a rapid rise of water, especially in low-lying areas like floodplains. Causes of flash flooding include heavy rain, ice jams, and levee or dam failures. This is especially common in the western United States where normally dry areas next to steep terrain might fill with rushing water.

River Flooding: River flooding can be caused by heavy rainfall, dam failures, rapid snowmelt and ice jams. Normally flow can become turbulent rapidly as in a flash flood. In other cases, water levels may rise slowly but steadily. Either way, the result threatens structures and populations along its course.

Storm Surges: Tropical (or even non-tropical) storm systems can bring heavy winds, but most damage occurs as a result of flooding due to the storm surge. Storm surge is the rise in water generated by the storm above normal tide levels. When the storm approaches the coast, high winds cause large waves that can inundate structures, damage foundations, and cause significant loss of life.

Burn Scars: The Western U.S. has had significant wildfire activity, most recently in California. After a fire, the bare ground can become so hardened that water can’t be absorbed into the ground. This is known as a “burn scar”. Burn scars are less able to absorb moisture, leading heavy rains to accumulate water wherever gravity takes it.

Ice Jams: Northern areas of the continental U.S. and Alaska may have flooding as a result of ice jams. When moving ice and debris are blocked by an obstruction, water is held back. This causes flooding upstream. When the obstruction is finally breached, flash flooding occurs downstream. Many ice jams occur at bends in a river.

Snowmelt: Snowmelt flooding is common in mountainous Northern U.S. states. Snow is, until temperatures rise above freezing, just stored water. When it gets warmer, the snowmelt acts as if it were rain and flooding can occur.

Barrier Failures: When a dam or levee breaks, it can be due to excessive rainfall, erosion, landslides, earthquakes, and many other natural causes. Some dams fail as a result of man-made issues, such as negligence, improper maintenance, and even sabotage. As a result, water level can overflow the barrier or water can seep through the ground.

 

FLOOD PREPAREDNESS
Most people have heard of hurricane or tornado watches and warnings, but the U.S. weather services also tries to warn the populace of flooding. A “flash flood watch” means that flash flooding is possible in the near future; a “flash flood warning” means that flooding is imminent in the area.
If you live in a low-lying area, especially near a dam or river, then you should heed warnings when they are given and be prepared to evacuate quickly. Rising flood waters could easily trap you in your home and you don’t want to have to perch on your roof waiting for help.

FLOOD SAFETY TIPS

To make it safely through a flood, consider the following recommendations:
Hit The Road Early
Make the decision to leave for higher ground before flooding occurs and roads are blocked. Having a NOAA weather radio will keep you up to date on the latest advisories. When the authorities tell you to leave, don’t hesitate to get out of Dodge.
Be Careful Walking Through Flood Waters
Drowning is the most common cause of death during a flood, especially a flash flood. Rapidly moving water can knock you off your feet even if less than a foot deep. Even calm flood waters are often murky and hide debris that can cause injuries if you walk through them.
Don’t Drive Through a Flooded Area
In a flood, many people drown in their cars as they stall out in moving water. Most vehicles can be carried away by water just two foot deep.Road and bridges could easily be washed out if you waited too long to leave the area. Plan before a flood occurs to see if there is a “high road” to safety.

Beware Of Downed Power Lines
Watch for downed power lines; electrical current is easily conducted through water. You don’t have to touch the downed line to be electrocuted, only step in the water nearby. There are numerous instances of electrocutions occurring as a result of rescuers jumping into the water to try to save victims of a shock.
Don’t Drink The Water
Water, water everywhere, but not a drop to drink: Flood water is not clean water. It is contaminated by debris and water treatment plants may even have been compromised by the disaster. Have a reliable way to purify water and a good supply of clean water stored away. 12-16 drops of household bleach will sterilize a gallon of water (a teaspoon for 5 gallons), but a filter might also be needed to eliminate debris. Wait 30 minutes after sterilization to drink.

Have Supplies Handy
Flood waters may not recede quickly. Besides water as mentioned above, have non-perishable food, bottled water, heat and light sources, batteries, tools, extra clothing, a medical kit, a cell phone, and a NOAA weather radio among your supplies.
Turn Off The Power

If you have reason to believe that water will get into your home, turn off the electricity. If you don’t and the water reaches the level of the electric outlets, you could easily get electrocuted. Some warning signs might be sparks or strange sounds like crackling, popping, or buzzing.

Beware of Intruders
Critters that have been flooded out of their homes may seek shelter in yours. Snakes, raccoons, insects, and other refugees may decide your residence is now their territory. Human intruders may also be interested to see what valuables you left behind.
Watch Your Step
After a flood, watch where you step when you enter your home; there will, likely, be debris everywhere. The floors may also be covered in mud, causing a slip-and-fall hazard.
Check for Gas Leaks
Don’t use candles, lanterns, stoves, or lighters unless you are sure that the gas has been turned off and the area is well-ventilated.
Avoid Exhaust Fumes
Only use generators, camping stoves, or charcoal grills outside. Their fumes can be deadly.
Clean Out Saturated Items Completely

If cans of food got wet in the flood, their surfaces may be covered with mud or otherwise contaminated. Thoroughly wash food containers, utensils, and personal items before using.

Don’t use appliances or motors that have gotten wet unless they have completely dried. You might have to take some apart to clean debris out of them.

Use Waterproof Containers for Important Stuff

Waterproof containers can protect food, personal items, documents, and more.  If your area is at risk for flooding, have the important stuff protected by storing them correctly.
Floods are just one of the many natural disasters that can endanger your family and turn your home into a ruin. With planning and some supplies, however, you’ll be able to keep your loved ones safe and healthy.

 

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The Eye-Opening Truth About Natural Disasters

We’re going to let you in on a little secret here…

You can’t STOP a natural disaster from happening. It is, after all, NATURAL.

The truth is, you CAN, however, prepare yourself for the unexpected!
That’s right!

YOU…can learn how to be prepared and protect yourself and your friends/family!
That is some exciting stuff!

Today, you have the privilege of learning about 5 different types of disasters that can occur and what you can do to prepare yourself.

We’re going to dig into earthquakes, tornadoes, floods, drought, and hurricanes.
With each one you’re going to learn specifically what can be done and how you can prepare.

Before talking about the different natural disasters, it is important to note that you should do your research and learn what disasters are more common in your area and what the potential is for each one to occur.

Next, you will make a plan!

No more hesitation, let’s jump in!

Let’s start with earthquakes by briefly learning what they are.

 

This event is the random shaking under the Earth’s surface that generally occurs at a fault line, or cracks in the Earth.

The effects can be very subtle or felt over a large area, depending on how large the earthquake is.

Can we predict these?
Unfortunately no.

That’s ok, we’re going to learn how to prepare!

1.  Gather your family for a meeting and determine where your safe location would be in the event of an earthquake.

You can observe your home or places that you frequent and decide where the best place is that you can take cover.

You’ll want to be against an interior wall or somewhere that you can drop to the ground so that you don’t fall.
(Make sure it is not near a window or a place where items could fall on you.)

2. Create an emergency survival kit with first aid, food, water, and any other essentials you would need.

3. In the case that an earthquake is happening, no matter where you are,  you’ll want to drop to the ground, if you can do so safely, and cover your head/neck with your arms.

The most important point is that you should really stay where you are unless it’s by a window or someplace knowingly dangerous, and stay there until the shaking stops.

Next up…Tornadoes!

 

A tornado is an extension of a severe thunderstorm. These can also accompany tropical storms and hurricanes.

They are funnel shaped clouds that rotate down to the ground and can create winds of up to 300 miles per hour.

As we all know, tornadoes can demolish buildings and homes in a matter of seconds.

How can you prepare?

1. Make a plan
with your family on where you will go if a tornado hits.

You’ll want to go to the most ground level of where you are or the basement if you have one.

Plan out what you’d do if you were outside and couldn’t get in a building.

2. Know the warning signs

Low dark clouds with movement, loud train-like sounds, hail, dark skies, and of course, paired with a thunderstorm.

3. Be in the know

Pay attention to your weather alerts and news stations.
Many times they will issue a watch or warning if they know one is approaching.

4. Create an emergency survival kit with first aid, food, water, and any other essentials you would need.

If a tornado has hit, the #1 key item you’ll want to remember is to seek shelter.

Flooding

If you’ve heard a watch or warning for a flood in your area, there are a lot of guidelines you should follow.

What should you do?

 

  • Plan with your family on where the highest ground is or where you would meet up if separated.

  • Listen to the radio/TV for updates. If they call for an evacuation, you’ll need to know this.

  • Prepare your home by turning off gas or electric appliances to avoid electrocution.

  • Create an emergency survival kit with first aid, food, water, and any other essentials you would need.

  • Do NOT walk or drive through water. Many times the depth can be deceiving and people will get swept off their feet or their car can stall and flood.

  • If water is rising quickly or you know there is a chance of a flash flood in your area, immediately get to higher ground.

  • If you’ve evacuated, only return home once you’ve gotten notice that is it safe to return from your local authorities.

Drought

 

Some people don’t really think of a drought as a natural disaster, but it is!

Luckily, for this one, we can really prepare with water conservation.

1. Repair dripping faucets or leaky pipes. It may not seem like a lot, but the water that is leaking can add up.

2. Choose appliances (toilet, water head, etc) that are water efficient.

3. Harvest your rainwater.

4. Outside, you can use mulch in flower beds, around trees, etc to keep the moisture longer.

5. Conserve water:
This can be as simple as turning the water off while brushing your teeth, not letting the water run while scrubbing a dish, or even catching that water in a bucket while you are waiting for it to get hot in the shower and using that to water your plants.

6. In your emergency survival kit, stockpile water for you and your family.

Honestly, there are SO many ways you can prepare for a drought just by using all the different methods of water conservation.

Hurricanes

These are large storms that gather energy and heat from the ocean water and when they touch land, they can be very hazardous!

Hurricanes seem to be a pretty common natural disaster that you CAN actually prepare for and luckily, we generally have a good heads up when one is coming our way.

We’re REALLY able to prepare for this.

1. First and foremost make a disaster plan with your family. Decide where you’ll meet if you’re split up, assign everyone roles, and make sure everyone knows what to do if a hurricane hits.

2. Create an emergency survival kit with first aid, food, water, and any other essentials you would need.

3. Know your area’s emergency evacuation route and plan where you would stay. (This should be part of your disaster plan)

4. You can prepare your home by purchasing a generator in case you lose power.

5. Have a portable radio or a source to be able to listen to news/weather updates.

6. Board up or place hurricane shutters on the windows.(During a hurricane it is advised to stay away from all windows even if they are boarded)

7. Fill your car’s gas tank up in the event you need to leave.

8. Charge your phone so you have full power if you need it.

There are so many different ways you can prepare for a hurricane that the list is really endless, but you will have a good educated jump to start preparing.

Going through each of these 5 different scenarios, have you noticed a similarity?

With each one, one of the key points is that you should create an emergency survival kit.

Remember that!
The significance of that is very important and no matter what the situation, a survival kit is a key item that you should have at hand in your home!

We’ve gone through 5 of the different natural disasters and what you can do with your friends/family to prepare yourself.

By no means, should you stick to this list ONLY. This is just to get you going.
Do some research and see what else you can do!

Prepare yourself to avoid repair!

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‘Substantial’ El Nino event predicted

substantial

By Helen BriggsBBC Environment correspondent

  • 2 hours ago
  • From the sectionScience & Environment
  • 185comments

The El Nino weather pattern, which can drive droughts and flooding, is underway in the tropical Pacific for the first time in five years, say scientists.

Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology predicted that it could be a “substantial” event.

The phenomenon arises from variations in ocean temperatures.

The El Nino is still in its early stages, but has the potential to cause extreme weather around the world.

US scientists announced earlier in April that El Nino had arrived, but it was described then as “weak”.

Australian scientists said models suggested it could strengthen from September onwards, but it was too early to determine with confidence how strong it could be.

“This is a proper El Nino effect, it’s not a weak one,” David Jones, manager of climate monitoring and prediction at the Bureau of Meteorology, told reporters.

“You know, there’s always a little bit of doubt when it comes to intensity forecasts, but across the models as a whole we’d suggest that this will be quite a substantial El Nino event.”

substantial1

Aftermath of flooding in California put down to El Nino

El Nino had been expected during last year’s record-breaking temperatures, but failed to materialise.

Weather patterns

The last El Nino five years ago was linked with poor monsoons in Southeast Asia, droughts in southern Australia, the Philippines and Ecuador, blizzards in the United States, heatwaves in Brazil and extreme flooding in Mexico.

El Nino is a warming of the Pacific Ocean as part of a complex cycle linking atmosphere and ocean.

It is known to disrupt weather patterns around the world, and can bring wetter winters to the southwest US and droughts to northern Australia.

The consequences of El Nino are much less clear for Europe and the UK.

Research suggest that extreme weather events like El Nino will become more intense as global temperatures rise.