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    Tractor Supply Company

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    Creating a Flood Preparedness Plan

    Flooding can occur as a result of numerous severe weather events, from tropical storms and hurricanes to extended periods of heavy rain. Prepare for flooding by educating yourself about flood safety and having the right emergency supplies at the ready. Learn how to prepare for a flood from Tractor Supply, America’s largest rural lifestyle retailer and proud provider of leading flood supplies.

    Take These Steps Before a Flood

    Know how to prepare for a flood before heavy rains are in the forecast. Begin forming your flood preparedness plan by taking the following actions:

    1. Build a flood emergency kit with essential items. 

    During flooding events, you should be prepared to go without power for several days at the minimum. You may have to evacuate, so store your flood emergency kit in waterproof storage bins, and keep these bins in an elevated, easy-to-find location. Update your kit regularly to replace expired items or add new items to accommodate fluctuating needs. Include everyday essentials for your entire family in your kit, such as:

    You should also have a secure place for your sensitive documents, precious family heirlooms and other valuables. Consider a waterproof gun safe or traditional safe that can be kept on higher ground.

    2. Establish emergency contacts, evacuation routes and detailed action plans. 

    Create a list of important contacts, like medical doctors, family members or neighbors, who should be contacted if something happens to you or a loved one. This list should be kept with your important documents, as well as electronically on the cell phones of everyone in your house. 911 will be extremely busy during a flood, so have backup phone numbers to reach first responders for help. 

    If you are under evacuation orders, plan out several options for your route to the shelter, hotel or destination. You may encounter water-covered roadways – always turn around, don’t drown! Likewise, don’t attempt to drive on roadways with downed trees or power lines. When evacuating, simply load your emergency kit bins into your car and go. Practice your evacuation routes regularly so they become second nature and won’t be forgotten in an emergency situation. 

    3. Prepare your home and property for flooding.

    At Tractor Supply, we are often asked how to avoid flooding. While there is no guarantee that floodwaters won’t affect your home, you can make preparations to help minimize damage and mess. Gather tools and equipment such as:

    • Flood barriers and sand bagsThese can help to keep floodwaters out of your home, depending on the height and force of the floodwaters. 
    • Generators: As backup power sources, generators can keep crucial devices powered and running. This can help you maintain as much normalcy as possible in an electricity outage. Learn more with Tractor Supply’s generator FAQs
    • Propane: This fuel source is great to have on hand for grilling food or powering equipment during an electricity outage. 
    • TarpsUse tarps with straps, ropes and chains to help protect and secure items. 
    • Water pumps: These devices help to relocate floodwater from indoors to outside the home. 

    You should also inspect your property and home for problem areas, addressing any issues before a flood makes them infinitely worse. Some common flood-prep measures include:

    • Check for cracks in the ceiling or walls, uneven flooring and other signs of foundation or structural damage, and have a licensed professional evaluate issues immediately. 
    • Clean and empty gutters and drains.
    • Ensure loose gutters or malfunctioning downspouts are fixed. 
    • Inspect your roof for loose/damaged shingles or holes that could allow rainfall inside the home, and make the necessary repairs.
    • Remedy any outdoor or indoor drainage issues you may be experiencing. 
    • Replace old batteries in smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.

    4. Pay attention to the forecast, particularly flood watches and warnings. 

    While there are more flood-prone areas across the country, flooding can occur anywhere in the United States, developing at a moment’s notice. Flooding is sometimes predictable based on the forecast, and weather officials may issue the following to inform the public of current conditions:

    • Flood advisory: This brings awareness to the potential for flooding and informs people to look out for flood watches or warnings. 
    • Flood watch: This is issued when flooding risk is elevated or imminent. 
    • Flood warning: This means that flooding is occurring in your area and you should seek higher ground immediately. 

    Monitoring alerts and the forecast can make all the difference when it comes to flood safety. Flooding can occur during periods of heavy rainfall, including during tropical depressions, tropical storms and hurricanes. They can also develop as a result of already-saturated ground unable to withstand more rainfall. For example, flooding may happen in the Northeast when large amounts of snow melt during early-spring rainstorms. Additionally, flooding could be the result of an accident, such as a sewer main break. No matter the cause, flooding is the most common disaster Americans face, so you must be prepared to act at a moment’s notice. 

    Know What to Do During a Flood

    It only takes six inches of moving water to knock somebody off their feet, and just one foot of floodwaters can move a parked vehicle. When flooding begins or evacuation orders are issued, take these actions:

    • Move valuables to higher shelves or waterproof safes, or take them with you in a portable safe. 
    • Shut off your home’s major utilities with pliers or wrenches. 
    • Turn on your emergency radio to stay up-to-date with the latest information. 
    •  Unplug major appliances to prevent power surges if/when electricity is restored. 

    If authorities mandate that you evacuate, follow your established evacuation routes immediately. Don’t forget to grab your flood emergency kit and supplies. Follow these flood safety tips when evacuating:

    • Do not attempt to swim, walk or drive through flooded roadways. Turn around – don’t drown. 
    • Do not drive over bridges if the water underneath is elevated and moving fast. 
    • Follow all road signs and directions from first responders, and never cross into barricaded areas. 
    • Stay in your car if you become stuck in fast-moving water. Only attempt to get on the roof if waters are rising in the car. 

    If you cannot safely evacuate and must stay in place, move to the highest floor in your home or building. Only if necessary, head to the roof and signal for assistance. You should not enter a closed attic when trying to escape rising waters inside your home or workplace. Call 911 if you are experiencing a medical emergency or feel that your life is in danger. 

    Plan for Responding After a Flood

    If you evacuated, authorities will inform you when it is safe enough to return to your home. If your home or property has sustained flood damage, Tractor Supply is here to help with flood cleanup and recovery supplies and tools. Our inventory includes:

    Remember that after a flood, remaining standing water could be dangerous to your health. Ensure you have the proper personal protection equipment (PPE) to guard against contamination or debris, like work glovessafety masks and appropriate clothing. Also be mindful of higher electrocution risks – never touch electrical equipment if wet or when you’re standing in water. Do not wade in open floodwater, as it is not only contaminated but could also be electrically charged due to downed or underground power lines. 

    Find Flood Prep and Cleanup Supplies at Tractor Supply 

    Now is the time to prepare for the possibility of a flood. By shopping online or visiting your local Tractor Supply store, you can stock up on crucial flood prep and cleanup supplies. With over 85 years of experience and knowledge, Tractor Supply is always standing by to assist those living Life Out Here after a flood or extreme weather event. 

    Please note: This information is general and is not intended to replace or override any of the advice, warnings, or information given by local officials, FEMA, NOAA or any other official regulatory organization or government branch regarding storm safety in the form of thunderstorms, hurricanes, tornadoes, hail storms, floods or any other natural disaster or man-made disaster. Always follow take-cover recommendations, evacuation orders and any other advice given by local officials for your area, regardless of whether it is similar to or different from the information on TractorSupply.com.