Flood Response: Five Things First Responders Should Keep in Mind
Being a first responder is a noble calling, one which has you putting your life at risk to save others in Topeka, KS. You choose, and sometimes even volunteer, to enter hazardous situations in the hopes of minimizing the negative impact of disasters, natural and human-made. An emergency requiring a first response team is a flood. Flooding, like all disasters, is atypical and requires the understanding of a particular set of practices and procedures, and the following five things rank high on those lists.
1. Personal Safety
As personal safety is a top priority, you should make sure that you are up to date on your tetanus and hepatitis immunizations. Additionally, as contamination is likely, appropriate clothing like rubber gloves, boots, and protective eyewear is advisable. You can check with the CDC, your local municipality, or other flood experts to find out other safety tips.
2. Flood Water
Flood water can sweep you away at only 6 inches deep, and beyond that it is likely contaminated, depending on the spread and scope, with sewage and other potentially hazardous materials, making the above safety precautions necessary.
As intense and volatile as flood water can be, it should be no surprise that a first responder will come across potentially dangerous debris from failed structures, metalwork, or uprooted trees. Additionally, flooding can soften the ground creating sinkholes and other dangers.
4. Electrical Hazards
The murky waters of a flood often hide many hazards, and the most dangerous are downed power lines or submerged electrical outlets. Flood response teams should be aware of these hazards and take note of any high-risk areas.
5. Carbon Monoxide
Carbon monoxide is another common hazard because as people deal with power outages, they turn to generator use. It is not uncommon, despite the warnings, to find people using generators indoors. Indoor use of generators causes the dangerous buildup of carbon monoxide which can lead to death.
As a first responder responding to a flood, you should take note of all the potential hazards, but also keep vigilant about your safety because the safety of others depends on your continued ability to help.