Flood Alerts for Northeast Oklahoma and Southeast Kansas
Do you know what to do when it floods? Don’t be caught off guard by a flood. Instead, know how to protect yourself and your family and always exercise extra safety during flood alerts.
Floods are one of the most powerful and devastating natural disasters that can occur in Northeast Oklahoma and Southeast Kansas, while some areas are more prone to floods than others, the fact is that almost anywhere there can be rain, there can also be a flood. Serious floods can range from large to smaller flash floods like the one in 2015 that killed 2 people in our area. It’s important to take safety precautions both before and during flood alerts. In fact, being knowledgeable about flooding could save your life, or the life of someone you care for.
A flood usually occurs when either heavy or frequent rain falls for hours or days at a time. Yesterday it rained and in 10 minutes the streets were flooding. When this happens, the ground usually becomes saturated. When the ground is no longer able to hold water, the water will rise. When it comes to flooding, a flood or a flash flood watch means that flooding or flash flooding is a possibility near your location. A flood or flash flood warning, on the other hand, means that one of those two things is already happening or will be happening very soon. When you hear one of these warnings, you should begin to exercise some precautions.
Because of where we live and that we are prone to flooding and flash floods, it is always easier to prepare yourself or your family in advance as opposed to in an emergency situation. While you can find lists of evacuation supplies online, a few supplies that are most useful include:
- Weather radio
- Emergency cash
- Photos of your home prior to flooding
- Drinking water
- Nonperishable food
- First aid kit
- Flashlight with extra batteries
- Required medications
- Copies of personal documents (insurance policies, passport, birth certificates, social security card)
Keeping these items in a ziplock or plastic container. The list of supplies that you choose will vary depending on the number of individuals who will require evacuation. For instance, if you have a pet, be sure to pack pet supplies like food, a leash, and a bowl. If you have a baby, pack formula and blankets. Have your supplies packed and ready to go in an easily accessible area. When it comes to flooding, the quicker you can evacuate, the better off you will be.
Once you have packed you can take other steps to secure your family's safety. First, when a flood or flash flood warning has been issued for your county, get to higher ground as soon as possible. It can be tempting to stay behind. After all, leaving your home can be incredibly difficult emotionally or physically. Nonetheless, it’s important to do so quickly. SERVPRO of Bartlesville/Miami will be there to help you with your home after the flood
Secondly, if you come across a flooded road in your vehicle, do not continue. Most people don’t realize that roads beneath swiftly moving water can be washed away. Most vehicles can be swept away in less than two feet of moving water. Never let your children play in flood waters. This is especially true after the rain has subsided. Water can still move quickly or worse, it may be contaminated.
So be prepared! Water is a powerful source but