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What To Do: Before & During Flood Event

By Matt Meister, Chief Meteorologist, m.meister@krdo.com
Published On: Aug 23 2012 05:25:42 PM CDT
Updated On: Aug 23 2012 07:27:49 PM CDT

The time to prepare for a flash flood, mudslide or debris flow after the Waldo Canyon Fire is now. The more prepared you can make yourself and the more familiar you can be about what to do should a flash flood happen is of utmost importance.

DURING A FLOOD

UNO! The number one thing to remember is Up Not Out. Put your plan into place and seek higher ground immediately. Do not try to cross flooded areas either on foot or in a car. As little as six inches of water can knock an adult off their feet and as little as two feet of water can float most passenger vehicles.
 If you need immediate emergency help, remember to call 911. Do not allow children to play in ditches as they can quickly become raging rivers or massive mud flows.

If you come in contact with flood waters you should immediately wash your hands with soap and non-flood water. Keep in mind that it is possible tap water may be compromised in significant events.

BEFORE - HAVE A PLAN

Pay attention to your property and be aware of easily accessible routes to higher ground. Is a ridge or bluff nearby? Will you go to the second floor? Make sure your entire family or group knows about and agrees about where to seek safety and where to meet should a flash flood occur.

Have a short term emergency kit. The Red Cross and FEMA recommend being ready for 72 hours. Prescriptions, important papers, photographs, pets and cell phones should all be included in an easy to carry kit. Read more about making emergency kits at www.redcross.org.

Register your cell phone or land line with the Teller/El Paso County reverse 911 system. Should a situation arise where there is enough time to notify the public to evacuate, reverse 911 will be activated, similar to during the Waldo Canyon Fire.

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