While public health staff and other first responders such as fire, police and EMS plan and train for emergencies, individuals must also be prepared for a variety of emergency situations. For any individual, being prepared begins with three easy steps: Build a Kit, Make a Plan, Be Informed.
As we learned during the hurricanes of 2005, the windstorm of 2008 and H1N1 in 2009-10, emergency assistance from the federal government or other first response agencies might not be immediately available during a large scale emergency or disaster. That is why it is important for individuals to take steps to prepare themselves and their families so they can sustain themselves in the days immediately following an emergency.
Flood Awareness Tips & Safety
The following information is provided by Hamilton County Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency via their website.
Floods Destroy: Prevent, Protect, and Respond!
Ways to Prevent Floods and Sewer Backups, Protect your Property, and Respond if an Event Occurs.
Floods in your home can be caused by a number of events- including street or overland flow of rainwater, clogs or breaks in your private building sewer, or sewer backups from the public sewer.
PREVENT flooding and sewer backups by using the following mitigation techniques:
- Clean your gutters. Remove leaves and debris that can clog gutters and drains.
- Ensure your building sewer is in good working order. A building sewer is the underground sewer pipe that connects the plumbing in your home to MSD’s public sewer. Property owners are responsible for keeping building sewers clear of clogs and breaks.
- Purchase and install a sump pump with battery backup. A sump pump will gather water runoff and pump it to the exterior of your home, away from your foundation.
- Install new foundation drains.
- Waterproof your basement.
- Change the slope of your yard away from your house.
- Contact the Cincinnati Metropolitan Sewer District (MSD) at 513-352-4288 if you have experienced multiple sewer backups caused by the public sewer in the last five years. You may be eligible for a backup prevention device.
PROTECT your home from flood damage.
- Obtain flood insurance and/or a sewer backup rider on your insurance policy. Review your coverage annually. Discuss your coverage plan and/or options with your private insurance. For information about the National Flood Insurance Program, please visit: www.floodsmart.gov.
- Consider elevating and anchoring appliances.
- Store important or sentimental possessions out of areas that are prone to flooding.
- Keep pets out of basement. If your basement frequently floods, keep pets safe and remove their cages, toys, and feeding dishes out of the area.
- Photograph and document items in your basement. Before a flood event, take pictures and complete an inventory of your possessions. Documentation of your property will be useful during the insurance process post-flood.
- Sign up for MSD Combined Sewer Overflow notifications. If you live on a combined sewer system (private sewer flows into public sewer system), you will be alerted when a quarter of an inch of rain or more is predicted. When weather conditions are predicted to be wet and the ground is saturated, this notification will alert you to remove any items from areas of your home that tend to be affected by sewer backups.
- Sign up for notifications: http://www.msdgc.org/consent_decree/cso_public_notification_program/
RESPOND after a flood or sewer backup.
- 1. After a sewer backup, report your claim to MSD within 24 hours of the incident
- Phone: 513-352-4900
- Online: sbu.msdgc.org
- 2. Call your insurance agent.
- 3. Contact a cleanup contractor (you may be eligible for a free cleanup or reimbursement from MSD).
- 4. Document your property damage. Photograph the affected area and create an inventory list of your personal property that is damaged or destroyed.
- 5. File a claim with your insurance agent.
For more information and resources on overland flooding, issues with private building sewers, and sewer backups from the public sewer, please visit: sbu.msdgc.org.