Posted: Friday, November 27, 2020. 6:26 pm CST.
By BBN Staff: As Belize continues to endure severe flooding in various parts of the country, the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) has disseminated a list of tips to sensitize members of the public on how to handle flood situations.
NEMO’s flood tips are as follows:
Do not venture into rivers and creeks when there is heavy rainfall or there are long periods of rain because those waterways are likely to flood.
AS SOON AS YOU HEAR of a Flash flood, tell your neighbor and move away from the water source and MOVE to higher ground or to the upstairs of the nearest solid concrete (cement) building OR climb to the highest point! If where you are Safe, stay there!
Relocate to higher grounds if you live along rivers and streams. DO NOT STAY IN YOUR HOME tonight if you know it is likely to flood during the course of the night. MOVE TO SAFETY, SAVE YOUR FAMILY, LIFE COMES FIRST!
If you are caught in your home by rising waters, move to the second floor or onto thereof if necessary. Take warm clothing, a flashlight, and a portable radio with you. Then, wait for help. Do not try to swim to safety.
If you can shelter in your home, place food and valuable items out of the reach of floodwaters. Farmers are reminded to secure their animals. DON’T WAIT UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE. If your home is likely to flood, turn off the main power supply. Beware of the movement of wild animals and snakes in your area due to floodwaters.
DO NOT: remain in areas where latrines are overflowing due to the floodwaters, play or drive in floodwaters and cross flooded creeks and rivers.
SIX INCHES OF FLOOD WATERS CAN SWEEP A PERSON OFF THEIR FEET. DO NOT DRIVE
THROUGH FLOOD WATERS, IT CAN BE VERY DANGEROUS. Do not cross flooded rivers and creeks unless to save a life at risk of drowning. River crossing at night is not recommended but if it must be done include a flotation device and light must be used.
When a Flood Warning is issued; DO NOT drive in areas likely to flood, you could get trapped in the low ground when the floodwaters arrive. More people drown in their cars than in any other location during flooding conditions. If your car stalls in a flooded area, abandon it as soon as possible. Floodwaters can rise rapidly and sweep a car (and its occupants) away.
Motorists are asked to drive with extreme caution when driving the highways and secondary roads. When it is raining drivers are reminded to put on their hazard lights when driving on the roads and highways.
If time permits, turn off all utilities at the main switch and close the main gas valve. Do not touch electrical equipment unless it is in a dry area and you are wearing rubber gloves and rubber-soled boots or shoes.
Every source of electricity can be dangerous during and after flooding. After the flood, check for structural damage before entering the building. Do not touch power lines and electrical wires. The #2 cause of flood- related deaths are electrocution. Electrical current can travel through water. Report downed power lines to BEL. Do not turn on any lights or appliances until an electrician has checked the system for short circuits.
Be alert for gas leaks. Use a flashlight to inspect for damage. Do not use matches or an open flame unless you know that the gas has been turned off and you have ventilated the area. Report gas leaks to the appropriate utility provider.
Flood prevention efforts depend on your cooperation and assistance. If your property is next to a drain please do your part and keep the banks clear of brush and debris.
Currently, a flood warning remains in effect for communities along rivers, streams, creeks, and waterways on the Belize River as well as the Rio Hondo River.
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