Whether it’s the basement, the highway or the community, flooding can happen anywhere

Nancy Schuster and Rebecca McFarland
Frontier Extension District Agents

Sometimes you can anticipate flooding as you’re watching the rain fall in sheets from the living room window. But what if you’re on the way home from work or picking up the children from school?

We can’t be 100 percent prepared for every emergency, but we can take actions now that can get things back to normal more quickly when disasters do happen.

With September designated National Preparedness Month by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, K-State Research and Extension is working with Kansans to be as prepared as possible for emergencies.

The Prepare Kansas blog is available any time of year for tips to help mitigate the effects of disasters for you, your family and your workplace. Find more information here: blogs.k-state.edu/preparekansas and at www.ready.gov.

Flash floods are the primary cause of weather-related deaths in the United States, according to FEMA.

“Flooding is fresh on the minds of many people in Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska,” said FEMA Region VII Administrator Beth Freeman in a Sept. 2 news release. “With so much flooding during the past few months, it’s a good time to consider the true risk. This month, this week, today, we hope everyone will take action to develop and practice a family emergency communication plan for hazards like flooding.”

This year, the FEMA preparedness month theme is “Don’t wait. Communicate. Make your emergency plan today.”

It’s better to have a plan about how you and your family will handle situations ahead of time, rather than be caught in the disaster having never talked about what to do. Also, now is the best time to build or restock your emergency preparedness kit, including a flashlight, batteries, cash and first aid supplies. Keep in mind, text messages and social media are sometimes better ways to communicate during an emergency when phone lines are tied up or not working.

If flooding is occurring on the roads you are traveling, keep these tips in mind:

  • Turn around, don’t drown!
  • Avoid walking or driving through floodwaters. Just six inches of moving water can knock you off your feet and two feet of water can sweep your vehicle away.
  • Avoid camping or parking along streams, rivers and creeks during heavy rainfall. These areas can flood quickly with little warning.

schustersmNancy Schuster is a Frontier Extension District family and consumer science agent whose responsibilities include providing information about food safety, nutrition, food science and food preparation. She is based in the Garnett office of the Frontier Extension District and can be reached at 785-448-6826 or email [email protected].

McFarland_RebeccaRebecca McFarland is the Frontier Extension District family and child development agent. For more information, she can be contacted at Frontier Extension’s Ottawa office, 1418 S. Main, Suite 2, Ottawa, KS 66067, or call 785-229-3520, or email [email protected].

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