In the event of flooding
Remember that river waters are highly polluted during and after floods and carry floating debris possibly causing injuries or liable to knock you unconscious.
Listen to the radio or watch TV for any warnings about bad weather.
Cars and objects can temporarily obstruct roads or passageways which suddenly collapse: take your car to a safe place out of reach of floods, as long as there is not a state of pre-alarm and it is not raining; roads often become true and proper rivers in full flood.
What to do
• It is always useful to have an electric torch and a battery radio for tuning into local stations and listening for any useful information;
• Save property located in places liable to flooding, only if you are in a completely safe situation;
• Make sure that everyone at potential risk has been informed about the situation;
• If you live on an upper floor offer hospitality to those living on floors below you and vice versa ask for hospitality if you live on the lower floors;
• Put up safety barriers to protect ground floors and close or block doors to cellars or basements;
• It is best to stay home, as long as you do not run the risk of being flooded;
• Teach the children what to do in emergencies, such as turning off the gas or phoning the help numbers.
During (alarm or event in progress)
• It is best to concentrate the actions, envisaged for the alarm or event in progress stage, during the pre- alarm stage.
• It is essential to remember that there may only be a slight difference, difficult to foresee, between pre- alarm and alarm or event in progress: rain only has to be concentrated in a restricted area to trigger off sudden floods.
• Turn off the gas, heating and electricity. Be careful not to come into contact with any electrical parts with wet hands and feet;
• Go up to the upper floors without using the lift;
• Never go down to cellars or garages to save objects or stores;
• Do not try to take your car or agricultural machinery to a safe place: there is danger of being trapped in the debris and carried away by the currents;
• Avoid confusion and keep calm;
• Help the disabled and older people in your building to reach safety;
• Do not drink water from the tap in the house: it could be polluted.
Outside the home
• Avoid using your car unless strictly necessary;
• If you’re in the car, do not try to reach destination at all costs, find shelter in the nearest and safest building;
• Avoid transit or stopping on the banks of watercourses, bridges or footbridges;
• Be careful of underground passageways: they are easily flooded;
• If you are on a trip or excursion, ask a local person for help: they may know where it is safe;
• Escape towards higher ground and never go downwards;
• Avoid passing under natural or artificial embankments;
• Do not take cover underneath isolated trees;
• Use the telephone only when strictly necessary to avoid overloaded lines.
• After reaching a safe place, pay full attention to information provided by the civil protection authority through radio, TV and clearly identified civil protection vehicles;
• Avoid contact with the waters; they can often be polluted by petrol, fuel oil or sewage water; also electrically charged by underground electricity lines;
• Avoid areas where currents are still flowing;
• Be careful of places where the water has retreated. The road surface may be weakened and liable to collapse under the weight of a car;
• Throw away any food wetted by flood waters;
• Be careful of bathroom utilities, septic tanks and damaged cesspits. Damaged drainage systems are serious sources of risk.
To keep on hand
It is also useful to always keep some objects of fundamental importance in case of emergencies somewhere in the home in a place known by the whole family, such as:
• First aid kit + medicines;
• Non-perishable foodstuffs;
• Heavy shoes;
• Reserve of drinking water;
• Spare heavy clothing;
• Light raincoats or oilskins;
• Electric torch with spare battery;
• Radio and spare batteries;
• Multipurpose knife;
• Photocopy of ID’s;
• Keys to the house;
• Property of value (cash and valuables);
• Paper and pen.