Protecting your family and property
Protecting your family and property
By Steve Angelucci CAP: RECORD RAINFALL: After a long dry spell, heavy rain in recent weeks has contributed to flooding of the barrier islands during high tides. Is your house protected? --> Click here for Real Estate Transactions.
This year, we've had our share of storms and the hurricane season isn't over until the end of November. Record rains have saturated the ground contributing to flooding of the barrier islands during high tides. We have yet to contend with winter snow accumulation and nor'easters. What should we do to protect our families, properties and ourselves during flooding?
"The greatest potential for accident or injury may occur after the rain has stopped," says American Red Cross spokesperson Pamela Grites. "Learning the smart approaches to flood safety can help you to keep yourself and your family as safe as possible."
If you are forced out of your home due to floodwaters, you should listen to local radio stations to learn when you can safely return. The dangers do not end when the tides diminish. Contaminated floodwaters can be hazardous to your health. Here are some safety tips suggested by the Red Cross. As a homeowner who was a flooding victim, I can vouch for these suggestions.
During the nor'easter of Dec. 11, 1992, Ocean City was hit with 14 extreme high tides over a two-week period. Parts of the Garden State Parkway flooded, after a four-inch rainfall within 24 hours. Governor Jim Florio declared a state of emergency for the second devastating storm of the year (the third within a 14-month period), while former President George Bush declared the four coastal counties a disaster area. Directly affected was this writer; my home was flooded with five successive high tides and my car was destroyed.
What to Do After a Flood or Flash Flood
•Stay out of any building if floodwaters remain around the building. Floodwaters often undermine foundations causing sinking. Floors can crack or break and buildings can collapse.
•Avoid entering ANY building (home, business, or other) before local officials have said it is safe to do so. Buildings may have hidden damage that makes them unsafe. Gas leaks or electric or waterline damage can create additional problems.
•Report broken utility lines to the appropriate authorities. Reporting potential hazards will get the utilities turned off as quickly as possible, preventing further hazard and injury. Check with your utility company now about where broken lines should be reported.
•Avoid smoking inside buildings. Smoking in confined areas can cause fires.
•When entering buildings, use extreme caution. Building damage may have occurred where you least expect it. Watch carefully every step you take.
•Wear sturdy shoes. The most common injury following a disaster is cut feet.
•Use battery-powered lanterns or flashlights when examining buildings. Battery-powered lighting is the safest and easiest, preventing fire hazards for the user, occupants and the building.
•Examine walls, floors, doors, staircases, and windows to make sure that the building is not in danger of collapsing.
•Inspect foundations for cracks or oth-er damage. Cracks and damage to a foundation can render a building unin-habitable.
Atlantic County under state of emergency effective 6am, Oct. 27. Residents urged to relocate.
Boards covered up the usually-bustling summer haunts Charlie's and the Anchorage in Somers Point. On Route 9, most businesses were closed, with the exception of a nearby Wawa in Northfield, which, according to one employee, was to remain open until "they tell us to close."
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