Floods occur due to several reasons, among which are heavy rainfall, rise in the water level of rivers, melting of accumulated snow/ice, and explosion of dams. Storm surges cause floods due to the rise of sea waves during severe storms leading to serious damages. In addition, floods occur in some areas where the land is saturated and is no longer able to absorb excess water. In Lebanon, the most common types of floods are: flash floods, river floods and urban floods.
Measures that must be taken to prepare for a flood
• Find out if your home, school, workplace, or other frequently visited places are in flood prone areas.
• Find out the nearest high place from your home and know how to access it.
• Make sure that house, roof and basement drains are not blocked.
• Isolate electrical equipment placed on the ground (washer, fridge) by putting them on wooden planks or plastic.
• Place material that can cause contamination if mixed with water(paint, oils ..) by putting them on high shelves.
• Follow the weather bulletins across different media.
• If there is a dam in the area and you notice that water is flowing or leaking from the dam then inform the competent authorities, it may be an indicator of the near collapse of the dam and the occurrence of a devastating flood.
Measures that must be taken during a flood
• In case of being in a place submerged with water, one should head to the highest point possible or away from the water.
• Do not walk through moving water. If you have to walk in water, walk where the water is not moving. Use a stick to check the firmness of the ground in front of you.
• Do not drive into flooded areas. If floodwaters rise around your car, abandon the car and move to higher ground, when water is not moving.
• Beware of poisonous reptiles such as snakes, spiders which may move into drier areas in your premises.
• Do not eat food which has been in contact with the flood water or stale food
Turn off main water, electricity and gas.
Do not play or swim in flood waters
Listen to the radio or television for information.