Prepared for Flooding
During Montana’s annual spring thaw, flooding is a potential concern for our community’s responders and residents alike. With that in mind, the City-County Health Department recently sent the Health Officer, Alicia Thompson, three employees and County Commissioner and Board of Health member, Jane Weber, to a week-long training on Environmental Health Emergency Response. This intensive training is federally funded and offered at no cost to Health Departments like CCHD. Thompson felt it was an excellent opportunity to enhance local response capability, emphasizing that “we want our community to be as prepared as possible for any event, and trainings of this nature will assist us in reaching this goal.”
Not long after returning from teh course, warmer temperatures and above average winter snowfall have caused concerns about local flooding. CCHD is prepared with information and resources regarding everything from water contamination to cleaning up after the flood. Residents should stay informed and keep in mind the following:
- NEVER attempt to cross water if it is over the roadway. According to FEMA, about 60 percent of all flood deaths result from people trying to cross flooded roads in vehicles when the moving water sweeps them away.
- Always follow authorities’ instructions on evacuation orders and be aware of changes in traffic routes.
- Avoid drinking water or eating food that may have become contaminated by flood waters. Have extra clean water supply on hand-at least one gallon per person per day for three days.
Personal preparedness is essential to our community’s resiliency in the event of an emergency. “While CCHD and other agencies work together to respond during a disaster or public health emergency, individuals must take steps to be personally prepared for any emergency, including a flood,” says Thompson. This includes:
- Staying tuned to local alerts and advisories,
- Getting informed about floods and the risk to your home, your family and your neighborhood, and
- Preparing an emergency supply kit for your home, car and work.
To learn more about how to prepare for a flood and stay safe and healthy before, during and after a flood event, visit our current events page.