Keep Calm about the Severe Floods and Flooding in Brisbane and QLD Areas

Last Updated June 26th, 2013

Dear Friends,
The TV and radio has much information regarding the severe rain and the water flash flooding issues we have here in Brisbane, Queensland and surrounding areas. It is amazing to watch how quickly water can change lives.

Be calm, act responsible and move quickly if you feel the need or have been told do. Do not allow others to panic you. Do what you need to do.  Do not make any rash decisions, think everything through and have a plan before and if you must evacuate.

If asked to evacuate, take minimal but essentials like 3-days worth bottled water (one-two litres per person per day), important irreplaceable papers, photos and documents, sunscreen, first aid kit, anything that floats, rope, cash, radio, mobile phone and/or flashlight. If possible, park the cars on high ground.

In the case of a flash flood, any people who live in a flash flood zone need to secure themselves, their families, and their property to brace against any sudden flooding. A flood warning, on the other hand, means that a flood or flash flood is imminent and that people should evacuate when told to do so, and should seek higher ground. Knowing these terms will help people survive flooding, but this without any other preparation will not be as helpful as taking steps to get ready for the disaster. The first thing to do in preparation is to have a plan. In order to do this successfully, every member of the household must fully understand what to do in case of a floodEveryone should know of at least two meeting places (inside and outside of the neighborhood), an out-of-state contact should be established, and each person should knowwhere all the emergency supplies are located in their house, workplace, and/or school.

Once a plan has been established and all possibilities have been accounted for, then it is time to prepare an emergency kit. Many people falsely believe that all they need is a 72-hour emergency kit. Having three days’ worth of first aid supplies and food and water is better than having none at all.

Any emergency kit should first have a first aid kit, since injury is imminent during a natural disaster. These first aid kits should have, at minimum, supplies like bandages, antiseptic wipes, over-the-counter pain medication, splints, gauze pads, a thermometer, and any other prescription medications or special supplies a particular person might need. These supplies can either be gathered manually or purchased altogether at several stores.

Besides the first aid, ideally it’s also crucial to have two weeks’ worth of food and water, as above. The water is of particular importance, first because humans cannot live without it for a much shorter time than they can food, and second because in the event of flooding, it is very possible that the disaster could damage water mains or reservoirs. This could leave whole cities or counties without any drinkable water, so it is important to be self-sufficient in this case.

Finally, every emergency kit should also include some source of light (i.e., flashlights, candles and/or lightsticks), sleeping bags and some form of shelter, and water purifying devices (including and filters). These are the general supplies that every person should have with them, just in case. However, there are more specific needs that people may have to fulfill, which would result in extra supplies in their emergency kits. Some examples of this include needing baby food, diapers, and prescription medication or medical equipment.

More supplies that are essential to an emergency flood kit are personal hygiene supplies (including soap and toothpaste), rubber boots and gloves, and insect repellent for after the flood when the mosquitoes and other bugs being to breed in the stagnant water. Besides all of this, it’s also a good idea to keep similar supplies in the car, in case that’s where people end up at the time of the flood. Emergency car kits should also include flares, jumper cables, maps, and tools in addition to all the previously mentioned supplies.

Although all this may seem intimidating, getting emergency kits can really be very simple. It’s both more convenient and usually much cheaper to purchase the kits ready-made from any store than to buy them all individually.

While these first few steps are perhaps the most important, it is also important to remember to prepare the home as well as the people living in it. Waterproof the places below the flood zone and elevate the furnace, water heater, and electric panel. Also secure at least copies of important documents like marriage and birth certificates, insurance policies, and wills in a waterproof safe (or at a minimum a snap-lock bag).

Once someone is mentally and physically prepared for a flood, the last thing they need to do is wait. Be constantly on the lookout for any heavy rainfall, and especially stay informed by listening to emergency news and radio. If a flood warning and evacuation order is actually called, the most important thing to do is move to higher ground. If there is time, move in outdoor furniture and secure other items inside the house. Take only the essentials and remember: there may not be time to pack a bunch of necessities, which is why it is so important to have emergency kits at the ready.

While evacuating, stay away from already flooded areas. Because the water will be muddy or murky, there will be no way to tell whether the water is six inches or six feet deep. And people have been swept away by just six inches of moving water before, so there is no guarantee of safety if someone enters flood waters. Along a similar vein, many cars can be swept away by just six inches of water. If someone is driving when a flood warning is announced, they should also avoid already flooded areas, and head to higher ground as well. If water begins to flow around the car and the engine stalls, leave it unless it is immediately unsafe to do so. Many, if not most, flood deaths are related to vehicles--either people become trapped inside or they are swept away while trying to move their stalled car. Upon exiting the car, move to higher ground as quickly as possible.

Once a flood is over, it’s still imperative that people stay away from water. This time it is not so much because the water can sweep them away, but because the water will be stagnant and likely carrying disease. Flood water can also have dangerous chemicals or could even be electrically charged, depending on what it has run through. Enter homes and businesses only when authorities have said it’s okay. Throw away any food that has come into contact with the flood. This is where having food and water storage comes in handy.

Finally, the last thing to worry about is any property damage. Once everyone in the
household has successfully weathered the flood, then it is time to examine property and take pictures of any damage for insurance purposes. Check for gas, sewage, or water pipe leaks. When all these steps are followed and caution is executed, extreme injury and property damage can be avoided, and flooding can be just a minor disaster for those who are prepared.

Most of all, do not be afraid to ask for help. A friend, family, the boss, even a stranger. This is the time for us to all unite and help each other.

For our part, we are praying for the rain to stop. Spirit's part is giving quick guidance to help keep everyone safe. The Angels and Guides are working overtime. Call on their energy now, each and everyone of you. Bring the light in and make the soggy darkness and fear disappear. Prayer and healing can help this situation. Be conscious of mending this situation we have here in Brisbane and the rest of QLD.

Our prayers are with you.

Blessings, K & Dr Michael

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