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Top Tips for Emergency Preparedness During Flooding Season

Preventing a Flood Emergency in DSM

March 18, 2019

Having received several inches of rain in May — and with even more in the Greater Des Moines (DSM) forecast — we want to provide all our friends and neighbors with some helpful preparedness tips should you be impacted by a flood emergency.

Make a Plan

Be proactive and make a plan for what to do if there is a crisis situation. At home, talk to your loved ones about evacuation, finding shelter, reunification location and more to make sure you all know the right steps in an emergency.  At work, think through how business would operate if the office no longer existed.  Once this is established, practice, and review the plan periodically and keep the plan somewhere obvious so that it is easy to reference.

Protect Your Assets

Check around your home and office and seal any cracks, check the sump pump and battery backup, ensure you have a back flow on you main waste drain, consider watertight shields or other barriers to keep water from seeping in through doorways, and examine the slope of your property to ensure the drainage leads water away from the building. Check all office space and storage areas to ensure items are on shelves and not just sitting on the floor. 

Stay Informed

Tune in to the news. The National Weather Service, Polk County Emergency Management, and your own city are also great resources for information in these situations. Make sure you have phone numbers for family and coworkers. Consider establishing a protocol for sharing updates at specific times, both to offer reassurance and ensure good communication with your team or with your loved ones. 

Insurance Review and Inventory

Conduct an annual comprehensive home, life, auto and flood insurance review to make sure you are covered from an asset standpoint. Speaking of assets, take an inventory your household belongs and place all important items such as photos and videos into a safety deposit box or a safe place. At the office, add a review of your lease agreement to that list so that you are aware of where the burden falls should there be an incident.

Next Steps

Now that you have a basic plan, expand it and apply it to other areas of your life like work or school. You can also get trained in first aid, CRP, Stop the Bleed or other programs so you’re involved and prepared. Lastly, pay it forward by challenging a family member, friend or neighbor to be prepared in an emergency. It could save a life!

Make sure to visit the Polk County website to sign up for Code Red and Complete a Smart911 profile.

Find these tips useful? Find more business tools and information by visiting the Business Resources page.

A.J. Mumm

A.J. Mumm is director of the Polk County Emergency Management Agency in Des Moines, Iowa. He has 20 years of crisis leadership experience at the local, state and national level. Mumm is an instructor with Texas A&M's Emergency Services Training Institute and speaks regularly on the topic of emergency management.