Although it may not seem to be in some parts of the country, spring really is just around the corner. For most of us this means getting outdoors a little more, tending to the yard, planning a garden, bar-b-queuing, and just enjoying the warmer weather. But, depending on where you live, spring can also mean flooding. Spring rains and melting snow from nearby mountains can cause river levels to rise rapidly, putting homes and communities in jeopardy of being engulfed with flood waters.
Although flooding can happen anytime of the year, the most common occurrences take place from April to July. Once flooding begins, there is little one can do to protect homes and precious belongings; the time to make sure your home is safe is before the melting snow and rains of spring begin. In British Columbia, the government has posted helpful tips for things like, flood proofing your home, evacuation procedures, returning to your home after a flood, and more. Each province and municipality will also have procedures and tips on flood prevention and steps you can take to protect your loved ones, your home, and your belongings in the event of flooding in your specific area.
It is also important to keep in mind that even if your home is not directly affected, access to your neighbourhood may be cut off and you may very well experience safe water and electricity outages. The first step in planning is to check your local or provincial websites for tips on what to do before, during and after a flood. You will find helpful advice on such things as:
· Moving all outdoor furniture inside your home
· What to do with items such as weed killers, corrosive materials and any other dangerous chemicals that may be in a garage or shed
· When to turn off and not turn off the main power to your home
· Handling of large and small kitchen and other electrical appliances, and more
Being prepared is certainly the best defense and sandbags are typically one’s very first line of defense in flood situations. Unfortunately, weight, storage and cost accessibility are all too often deterrents for homeowners having an adequate supply of sandbags. The sandless sandbags from FloodSax® have been specially designed for both residential and commercial use; they are lightweight, easy to store and economical. These bags are a mere 0.4 – 1 lb (dry weight), are biodegradable and will absorb from 26 pounds (residential) to 45 pounds (commercial) of water in just five minutes. As the bag fills, it forms a dense gel that produces a tighter fit than conventional sandbags and because it contains no sand, it can be safely used both indoors and outdoors.
Whether you home is directly affected by flood waters or you find yourself stranded in your home, taking the time to plan ahead will help keep your loved ones and precious personal items safe. Before the flood season hits, check your emergency food and water supply and take a few minutes to view your municipality’s check list for tips on what to do before, during and after a flood.