“We’ve seen recent catastrophic events driven by climate change, which threatens more extreme events like increased floods, sea level rise and intensifying droughts and wildfire,” said Jeremy M. Edwards, a spokesperson for the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
You may recall from last year the wildfires that ravaged the Pacific Northwest and the record freezing conditions that struck the state of Texas. However, according to Edwards, the greatest natural threat we may face is flooding.
“Flooding remains the country’s number one disaster and can potentially affect everyone and every property,” he said. “Whenever it can rain, it can flood, so communities, families and businesses must be prepared before disasters strike.”
Lis Mullin Bernhardt, an international development and environment professional for the United Nations, agreed that the sudden and indiscriminate nature of floods make it all the more imperative for you to prepare yourself and know what to do in the event one occurs in your area.
“Generally speaking, I would try to avoid going into floodwaters, not just because of contamination but also the potential for downed electrical lines,” Bernhardt said.
Edwards supplemented this advice by reminding us that it takes just six inches of moving water to knock you down, and one foot to sweep away a vehicle.
Aside from sheltering in place, both Bernhardt and Edwards said to refer to FEMA’s supply checklist of emergency basics. Ahead, we sourced some of these items for you, and included some additional tips from disaster-relief experts.
If you want to seek out even more information, such as where to access flood insurance and learning about your community’s specific flood risk, Edwards recommended consulting FEMA’s website.
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