Travelling flood affected areas is not recommended, however if you find yourself stuck in a flood affected area, there are some things you can do to prepare yourself for a flood emergency situation. One of the most important things you can do to be prepared for travelling emergencies and disaster is to be prepared with drinking water. Without adequate drinking water, a person can only survive as many as 2-3 days.
Water is one of life's most essential elements. Unfortunately for most Australians there is either too little, or too much. The effects of being unprepared for the event of a flood can range from slight discomfort to devastation. Sadly, some people in our community perish in floods.
Because floods have been a part of Australian culture, it can be easy to become complacent. However, much has been done by experienced emergency preparedness workers towards mitigating the effects, and to develop sound advice on what to do before, during and after a flood.
It is the responsibility of all of us – young and old – to see that where there is a risk of flood affecting life and property, that we are well prepared before an event occurs. Being prepared for travelling a flooded area in your vehicle can be life saving.
Depending on location and sanitation conditions, flood water can contaminate drinking water (surface water, groundwater, and distribution systems). Groundwater wells can be rendered useless from inundation of water laced with toxins, chemicals, animal carcasses, septic seepage, and municipal sewage. Surface water sources are impacted in similar manners. Infectious diseases can also be spread through contaminated drinking water.
To kill all major water-borne bacterial pathogens, bring water to a rolling boil for 1 minute. Boil 3 minutes at elevations above 5280 ft (1 mile or 1.6 km).
In the event of an emergency, it may not be possible to boil drinking water. Lack of fuel or the ability to create heat can be a big problem. This is where the inexpensive LifeStraw can be of great value. Store one in your vehicle at all times and you will be confident a source of clean drinking water is available at all times.