Severe weather is everywhere, and we certainly have had our share lately. Torrential rains have caused flash floods across the Bluegrass State, resulting in widespread power outages, damaged homes, destroyed vehicles, impassable roads and four deaths. When flood waters finally recede, the headache isn’t over. Cleaning up in thick mud with buzzing mosquitoes, thriving mold and possible sewage contamination can be a nightmare. In noncoastal areas like our landlocked state, floods happen when natural watercourses do not have the capacity to convey excess water. When the ground is already saturated, additional rain has no place to go. General flooding occurs in urban areas and areas with poor drainage after intense rain. In contrast, flash flooding is a result of heavy localized rainfall such as that from strong, slow-moving thunderstorms and usually occurs within six hours of a heavy rain event.
- Have a communication plan in case family members become separated from one another.
- Assemble an emergency kit.
- Know and practice the evacuation routes from your home and work.
- Obey evacuation orders.
- If you are outdoors, climb to higher ground and stay there.
- If you have time to secure your home, bring outdoor furniture and décor inside, move important items to an upper level, and unplug appliances.
- If you are concerned about flooding, have a professional install check-valves in plumbing to prevent flood waters from backing up into the drains of your home, make sure your sump pump is working, and buy flood insurance since standard homeowners insurance doesn’t cover flooding.
- Don’t try to walk or drive through floodwaters. It is very easy to misjudge the depth. It only takes six inches of swift moving water to knock a person off balance and two feet to sweep a car off of the road.
- The KYEM reminds people to “Turn Around – Don’t Drown.”