Precautions to be taken during and after floods – Part 5

Important message to all people

After flooding in some cities of Maharashtra and Karnataka in 2019, many people were unaware and confused about the exact measures to be adopted during the floods and after the flood receded. In such situations there are chances of people taking wrong decisions. To prevent this, some important points are given here.

To read part 4 of this series of articles click here :

12. What to do when evacuating to a safer place from a flood affected area ?

12.A. While evacuating in case of a flood, first evacuate children, women and the elderly

12.B. Switch off the mains and cut off the electrical supply. Unplug electrical appliances from the sockets.

12.C. Shift appliances such as refrigerators, washing machines, laptops, television sets etc to a safer place to prevent water from seeping into them.

12.D. As far as possible place wooden material at a height. Ensure that important documents and valuables are placed in a plastic bag and kept with you.

12.E. Ensure that the doors and windows of the house and doors of cupboards are shut tightly.

12.F. Switch off the gas supply in the kitchen.

12.G. Do not keep any perishable items such as vegetables, fruits, milk etc in the house.

12.H. If sewage gutters get blocked then the sewage water may enter the house. Hence when closing your home or if water levels rise then place sand filled cement bags on the toilet bowl (both Indian and western style toilets). This prevents sewage water from entering the house.

12.I. While evacuating carry sufficient clothes and essentials with you.


13. Follow these precautions while moving about in a flooded areas

13.A. Do not wade through flowing water. If you must then cross a place, choose a spot where water is not flowing and cross. To ensure that the ground is firm make use of a stick.

13.B. Do not drive a vehicle in a flooded area. If water levels start rising when driving a four- wheeler then abandon it and move to a higher place.

13.C. If it is wet everywhere then ensure that you do not touch an electricity pole, fallen trees or wires. Inform the fire and electricity departments. Avoid touching trees and branches which are on the ground as there may be live electrical wires entangled in them.


14. Precautions to be taken after floods recede

14.A. People are anxious to return to their homes once the floods recede. They should do so only after receiving a green signal from the Government that is safe to return.

14.B. If your house is made of mud first ensure its safety from an experienced person.

14.C. The electricity should not be switched on without instructions from the electricity department. Then confirm that there is not obstruction in the flow of electricity. Start using your electrical appliances only after 3 to 4 days.

14.D. If vehicles, electrical and home appliances are new and insured and there are chances of receiving insurance settlement due to natural disasters then ensure that the insurance officials pay a visit and click photographs. If they do not report, then click photographs as per their direction and get a panchanama done before cleaning up the place.

14.E. In case of gas leakage switch off the main electrical switch. If at that time the fans and tubelights are on then instead of switching them off keep them that way. However do not switch on any electrical appliance as there may be a blast.

Keep the cylinder in an airy place. If there is smell of gas in the house then do not press any electricity switch. Open the doors and windows so that the gas leaves the house with the breeze.

14.F. It is extremely dangerous to switch on electrical appliances when the walls and switch boards of the house are wet. Only when the house dries up and the electrician has tested everything should the electrical supply be started.

14.G. Snakes, scorpions, rodents, frogs or rats can enter the house with flood waters. Hence handle material placed on the ground or in the corners with caution.

14.H. If there is muck in the house then when clearing it or when moving things in the house protect your feet with gum boots and hands with gloves. This will prevent cuts from sharp objects such as scissors and knives and also from poisonous insects or animals in the muck.

14.I. Before using objects such as wooden furniture, clothes, utensils etc. which have been exposed to the flood waters either wash them or wipe them clean. To prevent rusting of metal objects such as cupboards, beds and other furniture wipe them clean with a dry cloth.

14.J. Antiseptics such as lysol may be used to clean floors. Also fumigate the rooms by burning neem leaves and camphor in the house. This purifies the atmosphere and sanitises the house.

14.K. Use drinking water after boiling for 10 minutes. Do not consume foods which have been dampened by flood waters.

14.L. Do not use medicines dampened by water, only use them if they are dry.

14.M. Do not allow flood water to stagnate in your area.

14.N. Ritualistic worship (puja) of Deities in the temple at home : Perform abhishek of idols of Deities in the temple at home with panchagavya (a mixture of cow’s milk, curd, ghee, cow urine and cowdung). Then perform abhishek of the idols with panchamrut (mixture of milk, curd, ghee, honey and sugar) and water and resume worship as before.

14.O. Ritualistic worship of pictures of Deities and Saints in the temple at home : When resuming their worship follow the same procedure as for idols of Deities.

In a disaster one can seek guidance from the National Disaster Management Authority on helpline no 011-1078.


15. Essentials to be carried when evacuating the house from a flood hit area

15.A. Valuables, important documents and cash money

15.B. First aid kit, medicines, mosquito repellent cream or mosquito coils

15.C. Life-saving equipment (life jacket, tubes etc), torches and whistles

15.D. Picture of your Deity of worship

15.E. Mobile phone with charger

15.F. Umbrella, raincoat and rain footwear

15.G. Necessary clothes and other essentials

15.H. Dry snacks and drinking water bottles

(‘Sanatan Bharatiya Sanskruti Sanstha’ reserves the rights to this article.)

Appeal to readers

These are some points for guidance in case of floods. If readers wish to make suggestions they may send them on the email id or postal address given below. This will help to present this useful material in greater depth to the society.

Email id : [email protected]

Postal address : Mrs Bhagyashree Sawant, c/o Sanatan ashram, Bandiwade, Ponda, Goa 403401

Source : Dainik Sanatan Prabhat

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