Floods occur regularly across the country, Pennsylvania and in Lancaster County, causing evacuations, widespread damage and even death. Those living near waterways or other low-lying areas are most at risk, but anymore in a neighborhood area that is susceptible to flooding can be affected. Hazards from flooding range from potentially deadly flash flooding to water contamination due to broken gasoline or sewer lines.
Terms to Know
- A flood watch means that flooding is possible within 12 to 36 hours.
Flash Flood Watch
- A flash flood watch means that flash flooding is possible and could occur without warning. Prepare to move to higher ground if you are at risk.
- A flood warning means that flooding is or soon will be occurring. Evacuate immediately if advised.
Flash Flood Warning
- A flash flood warning means flash flooding is occurring. More to higher ground at once if you at risk.
Before a Flood
Protecting Your Property
- Consider purchasing flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program. Regular home owners''s insurance does not cover flood losses.
- Know how to get to higher ground from your home.
- Learn the Township's flood evacuation routes and detours.
During a Flood
- If your home is prone to flooding, move your furnace, water heater and electric panel to higher floors.
- Install "check valves" in sewer traps to prevent water from backing up into your house. (See your local plumber on installing these systems).
- Waterproof your basement walls to stop seepage
- Build barriers such as flood walls or levees to keep out floodwater.
- Store insurance policies, deeds and other records in a safe-deposit box.
After a Flood
- Stay tuned to radio or TV for updates.
- Watch for flash flooding. This can occur without rain clouds or rain in your immediate area.
- Avoid low lying areas such as drainage channels, reveens or similar topographic areas.
- Never walk through moving water more than 6" deep.
- Do not drive through flooded areas.
- If your vehicle stalls in water, exit it and move to higher ground.
- Evacuate if instructed to do so by authorities, and return home only when they say it is safe.
- Be careful in areas where floodwaters have receded.
- Watch for downed electrical lines, weakened roads and bridges, and sink holes.
- Stay out of flooded buildings.
- Use caution when entering damaged structures. Their foundations may have weakened.
- Avoid coming into contact with standing flood water - it may be contaminated. Wash your hands if they come in contact.
- Discard any food that has been in contact with floodwater.