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Wednesday, January 23 , 2019, 5:53 am | Fair 37º


Make a Plan Now to Protect Yourself and Your Home Before a Flood Occurs

Residents in flood-prone areas should purchase flood insurance and everyone should have an emergency kit — just in case


Flash floods are the No. 1 cause of weather-related deaths in the United States, according to Yolanda McGlinchey, Emergency Services manager for the City of Santa Barbara.

Developing plans and preparing before a flood can help you survive when the waters rise.

        |  Emergency Preparedness 2017  |  Complete Series Index  |

McGlinchey offers these recommendations to help people get ready:

First, know your flood risk.

“If you are near a creek or an area prone to flooding, get sandbags early, get flood insurance and keep an ear out for the weather,” McGlinchey said.

Usually, she noted, Santa Barbara County’s heavy rain season runs from January to March.

Second, make a flood emergency plan.

Make it a priority to build or restock your emergency preparedness kit, including a flashlight, batteries, cash and first-aid supplies, McGlinchey said.

She recommends that residents buy flood insurance.

“Don’t get the flood insurance a few days before you find out there’s a big rain,” McGlinchey said. “If you build or buy in an area that floods, insurance is crucial.”

Remember flood insurance takes 30 days to take effect, she cautioned.

Other recommendations include:

» Familiarize yourself with local emergency plans.

» Know where to go and how to get there should you need to get to higher ground, the highest level of a building or to evacuate.

» Stay tuned to phone alerts, TV or radio for weather updates, emergency instructions or evacuation orders.

» Avoid walking or driving through flood waters.

» If floodwaters rise around your car, but the water is not moving, abandon the car and move to higher ground.

» Do not leave the vehicle and enter moving water.

» Just 6 inches of moving water can knock you down, and 2 feet of water can sweep your vehicle away.

“Stay home,” McGlinchey advised. “A little bit of water can kill or pick you up off the side of the road. You can’t keep driving the same way (as) during dry weather.”

If there is a chance of flash flooding, she said, move immediately to higher ground.

Also avoid camping or parking along creeks, streams and rivers during heavy rainfall storms.

“These areas can flood quickly and with little warning,” McGlinchey said.

        |  Emergency Preparedness 2017  |  Complete Series Index  |

Noozhawk staff writer Brooke Holland can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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