You can protect yourself from flood hazards by taking measures to ensure the safety of life and property before, during and after a flood. If evacuation becomes necessary be sure that you turn off all utility services at the main connection.
Be ready for the unexpected. Place important documents inside plastic bags or other water proof containers. review your insurance policy to ensure it provides adequate coverage. Know what type of coverage you have. Most policies cover wind storm damage, but not flooding. Any policy change usually takes thirty (30) days before going into effect.
Be alert for gas leaks. if you use natural gas, use a flashlight to inspect for damage. Do not smoke or use candles, lanterns or open flames unless you know the gas has been turned off and the area has been ventilated. Gas leaks can be reported to Fort Pierce Utilities.
Do not drive through a flooded area. TURN AROUND, DON'T DROWN. More people drown in their cars than anywhere else. Do not drive around road barriers; the road or bridges further down the road may be washed out. Driving through flooded areas could not only damage your car, but it could also damage adjacent homes, as a result of flooding from the wake created.
Do not walk through flowing water. Drowning is the number one cause of flood deaths, mostly during flash floods. Currents can be deceptive; six inches of moving water can knock you off your feet. If you walk in standing water, use a pole or stick to ensure that the ground is stable and level before walking on it.
Look before you step. After a flood, the ground and floors are covered with debris, including broken bottles and nails. Floors and stairs that have been covered with mud can be very slippery.
Stay away from power lines and electrical wires. The number two flood killer after drowning is electrocution. Electric current can travel through water. Have electricity turned off by the power company. Don't use appliances or motors that are wet unless they are taken apart, cleaned and dried. Report downed power lines to the power company or County Emergency Management Office.
To reduce property damage caused by flooding, you may consider the following: Re-grade your lot, building a small floodwall or place watertight closures over the doorways. However, these measures only protect if flooding is not particularly deep. Residential properties should consider elevating their homes. Flood proofing, installing floodgates and making walls waterproof are among the common ways to structurally protect commercial property.
If you own a boat, it is your responsibility to secure it. As a boat owner, you should plan in advance to move your boat or arrange for its storage. if you must leave your boat outside, anchor the trailer firmly into stable soil, deflate the tires, and ensure the boat is secure to the trailer. If possible, fill the bilge with water, which adds extra weight. If you plan to keep your boat in the water, be sure to double the dock lines, leaving sufficient space for the tidal range, and put out extra anchors. Do not forget to remove all marine electronics or other unsecured equipment.
TRIM TREES BEFORE A STORM
Look for potential hazards such as cracks in the trunk or major limbs, hanging branches, improperly formed branches, one sided or significantly leaning trees, decayed trees. Do not trim trees or vegetation just prior to a storm as it will not be collected until the storm has passed. For more information contact Solid Waste Department at 772-467-3000.
Bring in any furniture or items that may be blown about. If your pool overflowing poses a flood risk to your home, it is recommended you lower the water level 6" to 12" to allow for heavy rains. Ensure that your water is properly treated, as it may be come a good source of water for washing and flushing should the utility water fail during or after the storm.