How to stay safe
By: Lucas Smith
West Virginia has experienced horrific flooding over the last few weeks. In fact, February 17, Governor Jim Justice declared a state of an emergency for 55 counties in the state due to overflow. Lots of people have been affected across the state.
Some people have not been able to leave their homes due to rising waters.
“I couldn’t get my car out, and my mom had to drive me to school one day,” said senior Joely Good.
Others have been stranded because of trying to cross rushing waters. Someone tried to cross a low bridge covered in water on an Evans backroad, and the car had to be abandoned. However, everyone made it out safely and the car has been recovered.
There are many things you can do to safe before, during, and after flooding occurs.
According to Susquehanna Flood Forecast and Warning system, before a flood occurs you need to be alert by monitoring your surroundings and paying attention to local television and radio stations. You should assemble disaster supplies such as: drinking water, food that requires no refrigeration, cash, medications and first aid, clothing and toiletries, flashlights, and important documents. You should also have a plan in case of evacuation. Do this by identifying places to go, planning what to do with your pets, and being sure your car’s gas tank is full if driving is an option.
There are many precautions to take during a flood.
National Geographic says, do not walk through moving water. Water amounts as little as six inches can make a person fall. If you have to walk in water, use a stick to help determine the firmness of the ground in front of you. Do not drive into flooded areas. If floodwaters rise around your car and you become stranded, get out of your car and move to higher ground. If the higher ground is the roof of your car, try calling emergency services or getting someone’s attention so that they can help you. Also, do not touch electrical appliances or equipment if you are wet or standing in water.
After a flood, listen for news reports. This information is important because it can help you determine if your area is safe and if your community’s water supply is safe to drink. Stay away from downed power lines and report them to the power company. Return home only when authorities say it is safe to return. Clean and disinfect anything within your home that got wet from floodwaters. Mud left from these floodwaters could possibly contain sewage and chemicals.
Pay attention to the local news and radio if you think flooding near you is possible. As always, call 911 if you are in any trouble. However, the best way to avoid any trouble, is to always have a plan in case of an emergency.