A common upstate NY disaster: floods
Posted at: 02/24/2012 7:27 AM
Floods are among the most frequent and costly natural disasters. Conditions that cause floods include heavy or steady rain for several hours or days that saturates the ground. Flash floods occur suddenly due to rapidly rising water along a stream or low-lying area.
“We can’t stress enough the importance of flood safety here in the Finger Lakes Region,” said Leighton Jones, Director of Disaster and Emergency Services for the American Red Cross of the Finger Lakes NY Region. “In the past years, and especially last fall in the Binghamton area, we have seen the devastation floods can cause for families and communities.”
When a flood threatens
• Listen to area radio and television stations and a NOAAWeather Radio for possible flood warnings and reports of flooding in progress or other critical information from the National Weather Service (NWS).
• Be prepared to evacuate at a moment’s notice.
• When a flood or flash flood warning is issued for your area, head for higher ground and stay there.
• Stay away from floodwaters. If you come upon a flowing stream where water is above your ankles, stop, turn around and go another way. Six inches of swiftly moving water can sweep you off of your feet.
• Keep children out of the water. They are curious and often lack judgment about running or contaminated water.
After a flood
• Return home only when officials have declared the area safe.
• Before entering your home look outside for loose power lines, damaged gas lines, foundation cracks or other damage.
• If power lines are down outside your home, do not step in puddles or standing water.
• Materials such as cleaning products, paint, batteries, contaminated fuel and damaged fuel containers are hazardous. Check with local authorities for assistance with disposal to avoid risk.
• 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!
• Do not use water that could be contaminated to wash dishes, brush teeth, prepare food, wash hands, make ice, or make baby formula.
Floods are serious threats. Families and organizations should prepare for flood situations and have a procedure in place to act accordingly during and after a flood. Visit redcross.org for more information about flood safety and find a flood supplies checklist.
The American Red Cross, Greater Rochester Chapter needs your help!
Help us by nominating a friend, co-worker or family member that has performed a heroic act: an ordinary citizen, an emergency responder, a family pet, someone who helped support the Red Cross blood program, or a veteran or member of the military—working “under the radar” because for them, it is the right thing to do.
These are our Hometown Heroes—let’s take this opportunity to thank them for their selfless deeds and nominate them for special recognition. Nominations will be reviewed by a volunteer judging panel and award winners will be honored at the Red Cross Festival on June 16, 2012.
Please review the enclosed nomination form and festival overview. For more information about the Red Cross Festival or to fill out your nomination online, visit rochesterredcross.org/festival.aspx.