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Ravaged by floods? here are some safety tips

The Kenya Red Cross Society has released a report indicating that as of April 22, 2024, floods have affected a total of 23 counties across the country.

The report states that 24,741 households have been impacted by the flooding, with 11,206 households being displaced from their homes.

As heavy rains persist in various regions of Kenya, the Kenya Red Cross Society has also shared some essential safety tips to help residents navigate the challenges posed by floods.

1: Evacuate immediately to elevated areas in case of flooding.

If there is a flood warning or if you notice rising water levels in your area, you should leave your current location as soon as possible and move to higher ground or elevated areas. This action is crucial for ensuring your safety and reducing the risk of being trapped or harmed by rapidly rising floodwaters. Staying in low-lying or flood-prone areas during a flood can be dangerous.

2:  Switch off electricity at the main switch if the house is flooded.

If your home is affected by flooding and water has entered your living spaces, it is essential to turn off the main electrical switch or circuit breaker immediately. Flooding can pose a significant risk of electrical hazards due to the potential contact between water and electrical outlets, appliances, or wiring.

Turning off the electricity at the main switch helps to prevent electric shocks, short circuits, and potential fires that can result from water coming into contact with live electrical components.

3: Just 6 inches of moving water can knock you down.

This emphasizes the dangers posed by even a small amount of swiftly moving water during flooding or heavy rain events. It may seem surprising, but relatively shallow water can exert significant force, making it challenging to maintain balance and potentially causing individuals to fall or be swept away.

4: Avoid parking, driving or conducting activities along streams of rivers during floods.

During flood events, streams and rivers can quickly swell and overflow their banks, posing significant risks to individuals and vehicles in the vicinity.

Parking or driving near flooded streams or rivers can be particularly dangerous due to the potential for rapidly rising water levels, strong currents, and the unpredictability of floodwaters. Vehicles can easily be swept away or become trapped in floodwaters, putting occupants at risk of drowning or injury.

5: One foot of moving water can sweep your vehicle away.

During flood events, it is essential to turn around and find an alternative route if you encounter water-covered roads or bridges. Do not underestimate the power of moving water or the depth of floodwaters, as it only takes a small amount to pose a significant risk to your safety and the safety of others.

6: Avoid down power lines and muddy waters where power lines may have fallen

Downed power lines can be extremely dangerous as they may still be live and capable of delivering a deadly electric shock. Even if a power line appears to be inactive, it is essential to treat it as if it is energized and maintain a safe distance.

7: In flood areas, use a stick to test depth

This is a valuable safety tip to help individuals assess the depth and flow of floodwaters before attempting to cross or navigate through them. Using a stick or another long object to probe the water can provide insight into the depth of the water and help identify any submerged obstacles or hazards that may not be visible from the surface.

8 Do not drive over a bridge that is flooded

Flooded bridges can pose significant risks to motorists due to the potential for structural damage, strong currents, and rapidly rising water levels.

9: Listen to Radio, TV stations to stay updated on the rains  and flooded areas

Staying informed through reliable sources of information can help you make informed decisions and take necessary precautions to ensure your safety and well-being during severe weather events.

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