Preparing for the possibility of floods

Published: Sep. 19, 2022 at 4:32 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - Alaska has always faced the threat of floods from the coasts of the Aleutian islands to the valleys of the interior. While each region faces flood threats from different sources, preparing for a potential flood is nearly universal in this state.

Among the most important first steps is to know how to communicate with local law enforcement and where to get information for community disasters. According to Matt Wilson, the Executive Director for USAA’s Catastrophe Department, there are usually designated flood zones and guidance for places to avoid in the event of a flood. If you find yourself facing a flood, the best way to be safe is to evacuate that area.

Evacuation preparation is also important though. An evacuation plan should be made that allows for the quickest escape to a safe location. A backup route should also be identified in case the main route is obstructed for any reason.

Other things to consider when preparing to evacuate include gathering clean water, food, and any other supplies needed to survive including medications, first aid materials, and even important documents.

In the event that you are driving during a flood and come across a patch of water, the advised action according to the National Weather Service is to turn around and find a new way to get to the desired location. You should never attempt to drive through the water because of the many unknown variables including water depth, movement, and contents. If your vehicle gets stuck in the water, it may be difficult to escape, which makes the situation very dangerous.