Preparing for high water disaster takes more than wearing your best pair of “floods”… getting your rubber ducks in order beforehand will save you more than the bottom cuff of your pants.
1. KNOW YOUR SOURCES TO STAY INFORMED WITH REAL TIME CONDITIONS:
Full Radio Coverage: KSRO 1350 AM
- FLOOD FORECAST http://www.scwa.ca.gov/flood-forecast-and-emergency-information/
- WATER LEVELS http://cdec.water.ca.gov/river/russianStages.html
- ROAD CLOSURES http://roadconditions.sonoma-county.org/
2. GET SUPPLIES:
Our website has a FAMILY DISASTER SUPPLY CALENDAR
Sonoma County Emergency Management HOUSEHOLD DISASTER KIT:
Electrical, water, transportation, and other vital systems can be disrupted for several days after a large flood. Emergency response agencies and hospitals will likely be overwhelmed and unable to provide you with immediate assistance. To help your family cope, store a household disaster kit in an easily accessible location, preferably outdoors (not in your garage). This kit, which complements your personal disaster kits, should be in a large watertight container that can be easily moved and should hold at least a 3 to 5 day supply of the following items:
- Drinking water (minimum one gallon per person per day).
- First aid supplies, medications, and essential hygiene items, such as soap, toothpaste, and toilet paper.
- Emergency lighting—light sticks and (or) a working flashlight with extra batteries and light bulbs (hand-powered flashlights are also available).
- A hand-cranked or battery-operated radio (and spare batteries).
- Canned and packaged foods and cooking utensils, including a manual can opener.
- Items to protect you from the elements, such as warm clothing, sturdy shoes, extra socks, blankets, and perhaps even a tent.
- Heavy-duty plastic bags for waste and to serve other uses, such as tarps and rain ponchos.
- Work gloves and protective goggles.
- Pet food and pet restraints.
- Copies of vital documents, such as RENTAL AGREEMENTS, renter insurance policies and current personal picture identification.
3. PLAN AN EMERGENCY STRATEGY: http://www.ready.gov/make-a-plan
Your family may not be together if a disaster strikes, so it is important to think about the following situations and plan just in case. Consider the following questions when making a plan:
- How will my family/household get emergency alerts and warnings?
- How will my family/household get to safe locations for relevant emergencies?
- How will my family/household get in touch if cell phone, internet, or landline doesn’t work?
- How will I let loved ones know I am safe?
- How will family/household get to a meeting place after the emergency?
5. KNOW WHEN & HOW TO EVACUATE: http://www.ready.gov/evacuating-yourself-and-your-family
There may be conditions under which you will decide to get away or there may be situations when you are ordered to leave. Follow these guidelines for evacuation:
- Plan places where your family will meet, both within and outside of your immediate neighborhood. Use the Family Emergency Plan to decide these locations before a disaster.
- If you have a car, keep a full tank of gas in it if an evacuation seems likely. Keep a half tank of gas in it at all times in case of an unexpected need to evacuate. Gas stations may be closed during emergencies and unable to pump gas during power outages. Plan to take one car per family to reduce congestion and delay.
- Become familiar with alternate routes and other means of transportation out of your area. Choose several destinations in different directions so you have options in an emergency.
- Leave early enough to avoid being trapped by severe weather.
- Follow recommended evacuation routes. Do not take shortcuts; they may be blocked.
- Be alert for road hazards such as washed-out roads or bridges and downed power lines. Do not drive into flooded areas.
- If you do not have a car, plan how you will leave if you have to. Make arrangements with family, friends or your local government.
- Take your emergency supply kit unless you have reason to believe it has been contaminated.
- Listen to a battery-powered radio and follow local evacuation instructions.
- Take your pets with you, but understand that only service animals may be permitted in public shelters. Plan how you will care for your pets in an emergency.
If time allows:
- Call or email the out-of-state contact in your family communications plan. Tell them where you are going.
- Secure your home by closing and locking doors and windows.
- Unplug electrical equipment such as radios, televisions and small appliances. Leave freezers and refrigerators plugged in unless there is a risk of flooding. If there is damage to your home and you are instructed to do so, shut off water, gas and electricity before leaving.
- Leave a note telling others when you left and where you are going.
- Wear sturdy shoes and clothing that provides some protection such as long pants, long-sleeved shirts and a cap.
- Check with neighbors who may need a ride.
There are several other sources and supplies for emergency and disaster preparedness that you can find online. We recommend that you education yourself with the intention of being as self-sufficient as possible!