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What to Do (and Not to Do) in a Flood




Editor’s Note:  Robyn Lea is a State Farm Agent here in Vicksburg. The crest of the Mighty Mississippi is quickly approaching. If you have not already begun making preparations, here are some useful tips: · Collect emergency building supplies—plywood, plastic sheeting, lumber, nails, hammer, saw, pry bar, shovels and sandbags · Create an evacuation plan— Where will you go? · Inventory your personal property, including furnishings, clothing and valuables · Take photographs in every room in your home; open cabinets and drawers when you take photos · Remove valuable papers—birth certificates, insurance policies, bank records, tax records · Bring outdoor items inside or strap items down securely · Secure your water heater to the wall · Raise all electrical system components · Unplug every electrical item in your house. Remove all items from your refrigerator and freezer and unplug them. · Never walk or drive through standing water or moving water. There is no way to determine the depth of the water. Even 6 inches of moving water is dangerous. More people drown in their cars than anywhere else. Officials are expecting a 45-60 day period after the crest before the flood water recedes. As you are able to get back to your home, here are some suggestions: · Watch out for snakes and small animals as well as alligators. They make seek shelter in your house, storage sheds and barns. If you had a car that flooded, you will also find snakes and other creatures inside your car. · Never assume an electrical line is dead..stay away from downed power lines. · Before entering a flooded building, check for structural damage and DO NOT use matches, cigarette lighters or any other open flames since gas may be trapped inside the structure. Use a flashlight. · Clean your home. Throw out any foods that may have come in contact with flood waters, EVEN CANNED GOODS. · Have damaged septic tanks, cesspools, pits and leaching systems serviced as soon as possible. If you have questions, please feel free to contact my office at 601-636-4555.

The following information can be found at For the full article and much more visit:

Did you know:

  • Floods kill more people in the United States than any other natural disaster.
  • Most natural disasters involve flooding.
  • 25 percent of flooding occurs in areas with low to moderate flood risks.
  • Property damage from flooding now totals more than $1 billion each year in the U.S.

Take flood precautions.

Before a flood:

  • Be aware of weather conditions that could prompt flooding.
  • Listen to radio or TV broadcasts for emergency information and evacuate immediately if told to do so.
  • Collect emergency building supplies — plywood, plastic sheeting, lumber, hammer, nails, saw, pry bar, shovels and sandbags.
  • Purchase a weather alert radio.
  • Organize an evacuation plan and establish an emergency meeting place should your family get separated.
  • Secure shelves and water heaters to nearby walls.
  • Raise electrical system components.
  • Consider installing check valves in your plumbing to prevent floodwater backup.
  • Park, lock and leave vehicles at a higher elevation.

During the flood:

  • Never walk or drive through rushing floodwaters. Even six inches of moving water is dangerous.
  • Avoid rising waters, storm drains and sewers. Move to higher ground.
  • Watch out for snakes and small animals that might seek shelter in your home.
  • Never enter buildings surrounded by floodwaters.
  • Stay away from downed power lines and electrical wires.
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