The mayhem created by Hurricane Harvey and Irma was a good reminder of the unyielding power of mother nature over humans. And even though recovery efforts are well underway to make sure communities are restored back to their former glory, the lesson to remember is that they weren’t the first such natural phenomena, nor will they be the last.
As the government and organizations around the nation revamp their evacuation and prevention protocol to make sure they are even better prepared next time, we shouldn’t forget about the tried and true practices that help save lives and prevent property damage in these situations.
Edward Obediah Sweat is a former Master Patrolman at Jacksonville Sheriff’s office in Florida. Edward now lives near Barker, Texas, but his recent Facebook post explaining simple yet critical steps for prevention against flooding is taking the internet by storm; no pun intended.
Edward’s first reminder has to do with replicating sandbags, which are incredibly efficient at preventing water from penetrating areas. In fact, thousands of sandbags were distributed in Tampa, FL in the anticipation of Hurricane Irma.
But what if you can’t get your hands on one? Apparently, trash bags filled 1/3 with water and hung on doorways can be a good substitute according to Edward. Although it may look odd, this idea could potentially save your life.
Some of the other tips offered by Edward include using common household items to reduce property damage. He says:
“Paint cans or 5 gallon buckets can support and elevate your furniture if you are going to get water in your house … Use duct tape to seal your garage door to the floor to prevent water intrusion.”
And when it comes to personal attire, now is not the time to slack either. According to Edward:
“Wear clothes to bed nothing looks worse than seeing people on the news in water logged nightgowns and boxer shorts. Plus it is helpful slogging through the water at night … Wear hard soled shoes and gloves if you wade in water.”
Another must-do life saving step has to do with the fact that water and electricity DO NOT mix. Edwards suggests that:
“If you get water up to your electrical outlets or you evacuate, trip the main breaker…”
Even if you aren’t sure how high the water level will get, once it starts pouring down, Edward suggests that it is time to make sure you have your ID, a working flashlight, and a whistle somewhere on your self! Having referred to a map with a couple of different escape routes beforehand can also be the difference between making it out okay or getting stranded.
Lastly, if you do end up needing the help of rescuers, to make yourself visible, Edward suggests using Queen or King size white flat sheet, which are big enough and bright enough to attract attention to yourself!
Since being posted, these amazingly simple ideas from Edward have been shared over 170,000 times – in the hope that no one is ever caught off guard in saving their own life and property!