Across the United States, floods account for major property damage and lost lives each year. Texas in particular leads the nation in flood risk and fatalities each year. By having a proper emergency plan in place, your school can mitigate the risk of flood damage.
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5 Keys to Flood Emergency Preparedness
Flash floods can occur when we least expect it. Develop a proper flood preparation plan by following the following five steps:
- Planning Ahead
- Training Teachers How to Respond
- Setting Up a Communication System
- Protecting School Property
- Arranging Safe Transportation
1) Planning Ahead
It is important to develop a plan well in advance of an actual flooding emergency. This will help minimize the chaos that may occur in case of a flood. As your plan evolves, keep everyone at the school updated at all times. The administration and students must know what to do and where to go in case of an emergency.
2) Training Teachers on How to Respond
Making sure your teachers know how to respond in the case of a flash flood emergency is extremely important. This is even more critical for large campuses with a significant number of students. Hold regular reviews of flood safety protocols to ensure your teachers are up-to-date on what to do in case of an emergency.
3) Setting Up a Communication System
Set up a solid communication plan to disseminate information out to the school population. Whatever method you choose, ensure that it delivers the message quickly. Plenty of effective communication tools exist to make the process easier–for instance, many schools use automated texts and calls or special apps to alert students and staff. Find a way to keep everyone updated in real-time.
4) Protecting School Property
Schools typically have expensive equipment and property that isn’t easy to repair. Consider purchasing an inflatable flood barrier that can easily be placed around campus during flood seasons. Additionally, consider placing expensive equipment, such as computers and lab equipment, in higher levels of the building. Floods will rarely rise beyond the first floor of the building, allowing anything on the second floor to escape relatively unscathed.
Pro Tip: If your school is in a high-risk flash flood area, consider purchasing flood insurance that covers damage to your property and equipment.
5) Arranging Safe Transportation
During flash flood season, arrange safe transportation for your staff and students so that they can get home quickly and safely. For example, if the risk of flash floods is high, consider implementing extra buses that can take students and staff home. Make sure any vehicles you use are sturdy and can withstand heavy rain.
In rare cases, evacuation may not be possible. This is when your preparations ahead of time become potential lifesavers. Get students to higher levels of the school building and stay away from the floodwaters until help arrives.
Safety Planning for the 2020-2021 School Year
When it comes to natural disasters, flash floods can inflict serious damage on property and equipment. By implementing strict safety protocols, you can mitigate the damage of property and ensure your staff and students are safe from any harm. Follow the guidelines above and develop a flood preparation plan to protect your students, administration, and property from damage in case of flooding.
Get in touch with us for more information about your school’s potential flood risk and how to prepare.