Floods are one of the most common hazards in the United States. And in 2012, due to changes in natural environment, we may be the victims of floods too. Flood effects can be local, impacting a neighborhood or community, or very large, affecting entire river basins and multiple states.
Be aware of flood hazards no matter where you live, but especially if you live in a low-lying area, near water or downstream from a dam. Even very small streams, gullies, creeks, culverts, dry stream beds, or low-lying ground that appear harmless in dry weather can flood. Every state is at risk from this hazard.
In the event of a flood, you should do the following:
• Turn off utilities at the main switches or valves if instructed to do so. Disconnect electrical appliances. Do not touch electrical equipment if you are wet or standing in water.
• Do not walk through moving water. Six inches of moving water can make you fall. If you have to walk in water, walk where the water is not moving. Use a stick to check the firmness of the ground in front of you.
• Do not drive into flooded areas. If floodwaters rise around your car, abandon the car and move to higher ground if you can do so safely. You and the vehicle can be quickly swept away. Six inches of water will reach the bottom of most passenger cars causing loss of control and possible stalling. A foot of water will fl oat many vehicles. Two feet of rushing water can carry away most vehicles including sport utility vehicles (SUV) and pick-ups.
• Avoid floodwaters; water may be contaminated by oil, gasoline, or raw sewage.
Water may also be electrically charged from underground or downed power lines.
• Stay out of any building if it is surrounded by floodwaters.
• Clean and disinfect everything that got wet. Mud left from floodwater can contain sewage and chemicals.
"And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows" (Matthew 24:6-8).