APRIL 16, 2013, SOUTHEAST MI--Here comes the rain again. This weeks forecast for the Southeast Michigan area shows, rain, rain and more rain. April showers bring May flowers but they also bring flooding to the area and the American Red Cross, Southeastern Michigan Region wants you to be prepared.
Floods are among the most frequent and costly natural disasters. Conditions that cause flood include heavy or steady rain for several hours or days that saturate the ground. Flash floods occur suddenly due to rapidly rising water along a stream or low-lying area.
You will likely hear weather forecasters use these terms when floods are predicted in your community:
• Flood/Flash Flood Watch-Flooding or flash flooding is possible in your area.
• Flood/Flash Flood Warning-Flooding or flash flooding is already occurring or will occur soon in your area.
Responding Appropriately During a Flood
• It is important to listen to area radio and television stations for possible flood warnings and reports of flooding in progress or other information from the National Weather Service.
• Be prepared to evacuate at a moments notice
• When a flood or flash flood warning is issued for your area, head for higher ground and stay there
• If you come upon a flooded road while driving, turn around and go another way.
• Keep children out of the water. They are curious and often lack judgment about running water or contaminated water.
• Be especially cautious at night when it is harder to recognize flood danger.
• Because standard homeowners insurance doesn’t cover flooding, it is important to have protection from the floods associated with heavy rains and other conditions that impact the area. Visit the National Flood Insurance Program website at www.floodsmart.gov for more information.
Tips to Stay Safe after a Flood
• If you smell natural or propane gas or hear a hissing noise, leave immediately and call the fire department
• If power lines are down outside your home, do not step in puddles or standing water.
• Keep children and pets away from hazardous sites and floodwater
• Materials such as cleaning products, paint, batteries, contaminated fuel and damaged fuel containers are hazardous. Check with authorities for assistance with disposal to avoid risk.
• During cleanup, wear protective clothing, including rubber gloves and runner boots.
• Make sure your food and water are safe. Discard items that have come in contact with floodwater, including canned goods, water bottles, plastic utensils and baby bottle nipples. When in doubt, throw it out!
• Contact your local or state public health department to see if your water supply might be contaminated. You may need to boil or treat it before use. Do not use water that could be contaminated to wash dishes, brush teeth, prepare food, wash hands, make ice or make baby formula.
For more information on how to clean up after a flood, you can download the “Repairing your Flooded Home” booklet, found on redcross.org
The American Red Cross, Southeastern Michigan Region serves, Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Washtenaw, Lenawee, Monroe and St. Clair Counties.
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org.