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Home arrow Health arrow Best practices for environmental health : environmental pollution, protection, quality and sustainability
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Best Practices for Floods

  • • Develop a comprehensive watershed management program for each individual watershed including: point sources of pollution and mitigation techniques; non-point sources of pollution and mitigation techniques; provision for sustained torrential rains and mitigation techniques; determination of the floodplain and mitigation techniques; appropriate storage and delivery of water; coordination with all local agencies and governmental entities; and supervision and management of the program by highly professional competent individuals.
  • • Promote and enforce stringent zoning regulations, codes and standards, and regulations for permits for developments and housing in floodplains and other frequently flooded areas.
  • • Promote the increased elevation of existing properties in floodplains that have been repeatedly damaged.
  • • Governmental agencies should provide easily accessible information on flood-prone areas for individuals who are seeking to purchase property or upgrade structures.
  • • Governmental agencies should restore watersheds, wetlands, sand dunes, beaches, and wildlife habitat to mitigate the effects of floods.
  • • Inspect and repair all levees and dams prior to the local onset of severe weather conditions.
  • • Avoid building homes and other structures in a floodplain.
  • • Elevate existing structures above the 100-year flood level.
  • • Elevate the furnace, air conditioner, water heater, and electrical panel in the home above high flood risk level.
  • • Install check valves to prevent flood water from backing up in the drains.
  • • Communicate to the public information about flood watches, flood warnings, and flash flood warnings.
  • • Move to higher ground when information is communicated about floods which may occur rapidly.
  • • If ordered to evacuate, secure the home and outdoor furniture, turn off utilities at the main switches or valves, and disconnect electrical appliances.
  • • Restore basic utilities and public services as quickly as possible including a safe water supply, electricity and gas, a communication system, reliable food supplies, and health services.
  • • Have experts inspect and declare safe all structures which will be used by individuals.
  • • Have properly trained individuals remove all materials including wallboard, insulation, flooring, furniture, etc. which have been flood damaged and dispose of them in an appropriate manner. Clear and clean all outside areas which are needed for recreational purposes by individuals, especially children.
  • • Never walk through moving water unless it is a life-and-death situation.
  • • Do not drive through unknown depths of water after a disaster or heavy rains.
  • • Avoid flood waters which may be contaminated with chemicals, oil, and gasoline or raw sewage.
  • • Avoid downed power lines. (See endnote 18.)
 
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