You’ve probably noticed the high temperatures throughout the Country lately, and the frequent severe thunderstorm warnings broadcast by television, radio and the Internet’s weather websites. Pay attention to these warnings. Storms have caused flooding recently in West Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey, Wisconsin and Minnesota, to name only a few states.
Downpours falling into creeks, tributaries and rivers can cause flood waters to rise fast. In the end-June storm in West Virginia, at least 26 people were estimated to have died as a result of the flooding in Kanawha County. Downed trees and power lines also caused major power outages. A 4-year old was swept away by flood waters in Jackson County, and an 8-year old Ravenswood boy was killed as a result of the storm. (www.cnn.com/2016/06/24/us/west-virginia-flooding-deaths/)
You can’t be too prepared for disastrous flooding. There are some things you can do now to help mitigate the effects of storms on you and your family. Here is a storm preparation checklist from the Rappahannock Electric Cooperative (REC) along with a few safety tips you can use:
Things You Need Before the Storm Strikes to Be Safe:
- Flashlights with fresh batteries. Test your flashlights to make sure they work.
- Battery-powered radio or TV, with extra batteries. Again test it to make sure!
- Land-line phone with cord–cordless phones require electricity. But, make sure
if you do not have a land-line that you have a cell phone and it is charged. (However,
remember if the cell towers are down or knocked out there may be no service.)
- Battery-powered or wind-up alarm clock.
- Accessible supply of bottled water.
- Non-perishable foods that require no heating.
- Blankets, bedding or sleeping bags.
- First-aid kit and your prescription medications (make sure your kit is also up to date!).
- Hand-operated can opener (to open those canned non-perishable foods).
- Any special items for infants, the elderly or family members with special needs.
- Some hand-tools (pliers, wrench, hammer–if you need to break a window…)
- List of emergency phone numbers and the phone number of your power company.
- ID and copies of important family documents in a waterproof container.
- Some cash (ATMs may be unavailable).
The REC also recommends that you NEVER touch ANY downed electric or other wire and stay at least 50 feet from ANY downed line. Do not attempt to remove any trees or debris from downed lines. Immediately report downed power lines by calling 911.