FLOOD - A flood is an abnormal progressive rise in the water level of streams or rivers which may result in overflowing. Floods in the Caribbean can often be caused by heavy rainfall, dam or levee failures, tsunamis, storm surges or burst water mains.
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Flood Preparedness

Protecting Your Family

Get each member of your family involved in the preparation process. Plan ahead and make sure that everyone knows what to do in the event of a flood.


  • Create a family plan.
  • Make sure all family members know the correct emergency contact numbers (police, fire, hospital, doctors, insurance company, children’s schools, and disabled or senior care etc). Post these numbers near the telephone or save them in your mobile phone.
  • Select a meeting place or family member to contact in case you get separated during the disaster. It may be easier to make a long-distance phone call than a local one. Choose an overseas contact to communicate between separated family members.
  • Inquire about emergency plans at work, daycare and school. Recommend putting a plan in place if none exists.
  • If you have employed persons to care for members of you family, inform them of your family emergency plan as well.
  • Keep family records in a waterproof case.
  • Teach everyone how to turn off the utilities at the main switches.
  •  Ensure that everyone knows basic safety and first aid tips.
  • Know your emergency shelter and plan routes that are not prone to severe flooding.
  • Check to make sure that all flashlights and radios are working and purchase additional batteries. Make sure that you purchase adequate rain gear for the family, such as raincoats and rubber boots. Stock up non-perishable foods and emergency supplies by creating a Flood Survival Kit. Here are a few items you should remember to keep handy.
    • Flashlight and extra batteries.
    • Portable, battery-operated radio and extra batteries.
    • First aid kit.
    • Non-perishable (canned food) and water.
    • Non-electric can opener.
    • Essential medicines.
    • Cash and credit cards.
    • Sturdy shoes and raincoat.
  • Remember your pets and livestock. Animals are not usually allowed in emergency shelters.

Pet Plan

Pets also experience anxiety. Although their keen senses and instinct often aids in survival, they are still susceptible to the harm and stress that can be brought on by these natural events. Pets may not be allowed to stay with you in an Emergency Shelter if you have to evacuate; so make plans to board them at a kennel or Veterinarian. Remember, it is not safe to leave your pet in a vehicle during a hurricane.

If you have no choice but to leave your pets at home, here are a few points to help you keep your furry pals safe.

Create an emergency plan

Make sure this includes having contact information for, animal shelters, livestock transport companies, veterinarians, poison control centres, and neighbours.


Provide adequate food and water to last up to 2 weeks


Make sure that your pet is wearing a legible ID tag with information on dietary needs, health status, your name and address. During a flood, animals often seek shelter. They often become tired, lost or end up on a neighbour's property.


Find a safe ventilated room for your pet to stay in, that isn’t prone to flooding. Always make sure that your pets aren’t restrained in any way. Most animals can swim.

Restrict Access to Dangerous Areas

If severe flooding is expected, evacuate livestock to higher ground and prevent entry to flood-prone areas. Some animals prefer familiar areas and this has caused many to drown because they refuse to leave flooded areas.


Your animals’ level of alertness increases their chance at survival. DO NOT administer medicines that can slow them down.

Potty Time

Make provisions for your pets to relieve themselves, since they are likely to be indoors for some time. Provide cats with a large receptacle with cat litter. For dogs, set up a layer of plastic covered by a layer of newspaper in a flat rectangular box.

N.B – Do not leave animals fenced in. Set them free and if possible take them to an area of higher ground.

Protecting Your Business

  • Ensure that your insurance plan provides adequate coverage. Is the facility located in a flood prone area and is the flood insurance adequate? Does the package include liability coverage for injury to employees as well as potential lawsuits from customers? Does the insurance cover damage to contents, including vital records and office equipment? Is the facility in a high hazard, evacuation area?
  • If your store electrical equipment is on the floor or on low shelves, elevate these to higher surfaces immediately.
  • Protect important documents by saving back up copies on external media (CDs, flash drives etc) and store all documents safely in waterproof packaging.
  • In cases of severe flooding, water may take some time to drain or evaporate and you may not be able to recommence work immediately. Consider finding an alternative place to run your business, perhaps your home or another location, which may not be in a flood prone area.
  • Make any necessary adjustments to the infrastructure of the building or the area, such as improved drainage.

Protecting Your Home

  • Find out if areas around your home are prone to flooding.
  • Clear/improve drainage areas around your home.
  • Place electrical items on high surfaces.
  • Remove potential contaminants from areas where they can spill.
  • Secure or remove anything that can become dangerous floating debris when flood waters rise.
  • Draw a plan of your home and establish the fastest or easiest evacuation route outdoors in case rapid, severe flooding suddenly occurs.
  • Protect furniture with waterproof coverings and try to move them to higher surfaces if possible.



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12 inches of water can cause you to lose control of your vehicle.
New land development can increase flood risk, especially if the construction changes natural runoff paths.
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Deforestation can cause flooding.
Flooding is the most common natural hazard.
Flash-flooding can occur within minutes.
Dams and levees are built to prevent flooding.
Flooding can cause millions of dollars in damage.
6 inches of moving water can sweep you off your feet.
Oil, and other chemicals carried in floodwaters can ruin crops and be hazardous to your health
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