We've had record snowfall and, with water levels already high, it makes sense to take precautions against possible subsequent flooding as snow and ice melts.
Know your flood risk - If you've not previously done so, research your home's likely level of flood risk. If in doubt contact your local county for more information. Iron County publishes an emergency preparedness guide with specific flood instructions on pages 17 and 18.
Home insurance - Did you know that most homeowner policies don't include flood damage, so contact your insurer for specific advice. It also makes sense to photograph your home and possessions in advance to help with any future claims.
Water drainage - Ensure your gutters and downspouts are free of obstructing debris. If you have storm drains near your home, make sure they are also clear of debris. Landscaping should be carried out in such a way that water drains away from your home.
Plan ahead - Keep your car filled with gas, have a portable radio and flashlights with extra batteries, store food, water and critical medical supplies.
What happens if there's a flood?
- Try to keep yourself informed using internet and social media channels, paying particular attention to weather warnings.
- If asked to evacuate, do so immediately and get to higher ground. Don't forget to lock your home and take your pets with you, of course. If there's time, and it's safe to do so, shut off your main power switch, main gas valve and water valve.
- Keep away from floodwaters. Fast flowing and very cold mountain streams and rivers can be especially hazardous. Just 18 inches of water can be sufficient to sweep away a large vehicle and always remember that flooded roads may be hiding dangerous objects.
- The Iron County emergency preparedness guide contains further important information and we strongly suggest you study it.
After the flood:
- Keep away from flood disaster areas and let rescue and emergency services continue their vital work. Let family and friends know you're safe. The Red Cross Emergency website and mobile apps are great resources.
- Don't re-enter your home until the authorities tell you it's safe to do so and follow any safety guidance provided regarding switching utilities back on, usage of drinking water etc.
- Again, stay informed using internet, social media and other news resources for the latest updates.
- The Iron County emergency preparedness guide contains other essential information, so do please refer to it in advance.
We sincerely hope that you'll never need to use this advice. Nonetheless it pays huge dividends to be prepared for such an eventuality.