Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 27th 2013 Contents Better be ready
Are you ready for aflood?
Source: The T&T Red Cross Society
Contact the Red Cross: Headquarters - 627-8215/8128, Northern branch - 627-8214, Southern branch - 652-2024, Tobago branch - 639-2781
Floods are the leading cause of
disaster-related death in the
Caribbean, but since most can be
forecast, you should have time to
prepare. Your Red Cross urges you
to get ready. There are simple
steps you can take to help protect
your family from a flood.
Know your area's flood risk. If
unsure, call your Red Cross or
Emergency Management Agency.
If you are in a risk area, investigate
the feasibility of flood insurance.
Know the location of the main elec-
trical breaker and the gas and water
valves in your home and ensure you
have a clear path to easily access
them so that you can shut them off
When a Flood
Warning is issued:
Monitor the radio for weather
updates and evacuate immediately if
you are told to do so.
Move your furniture and valuables to
higher floors of your home or place
them high if possible.
Bring in all loose items from outside,
like garbage cans and yard furniture
for safe keeping.
Turn off the main electrical switch
and other utilities.
Place important documents and
valuables in plastic and store them
in a safe place.
Flood water dangers:
Do not walk through flowing water.
Just six inches of moving water can
knock you off your feet.
Never attempt to cross a swollen
stream, river or gully by foot or
vehicle. The force of these water-
ways can have deadly consequences.
If your vehicle stalls in rising water,
abandon it immediately and climb to
higher ground. A mere two feet of
water can float a large vehicle, even
After a flood:
Clean and dry everything water-
soaked. Flood waters can pick up
sewerage and chemicals from roads,
farms and factories. Spoiled food
and flooded medicines are health
hazards. When in doubt, throw them
Check appliances and motors for
damage and do not use them until
they have been cleaned and dried.
Watch out for wild animals. Snakes
and centipedes that have been
flooded out of their homes may seek
shelter in yours. Use a pole or a
stick to poke and turn items over
and scare them away.
If your home was seriously affected
by the floods and you suspect your
electrical wiring may have been
damaged, have it checked by a quali-
fied person before turning on the
main electrical switch.
Punch holes in all containers left
outside to prevent water from set-
tling and these from becoming
breeding grounds for mosquitoes.
Purify water before using. Use chlo-
rine bleach or water purifying
tablets. Boil tap water for ten min-
T&T Red Cross Society
Tuesday, August 27, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
TUOLUMNE CITY---Crews work-
ing to contain one of California s
largest-ever wildfires made
advances overnight against the
flames threatening San Francisco s
water supply, several towns near
Yosemite National Park and his-
toric giant sequoias.
Containment of the Rim Fire
more than doubled to 15 per cent,
although it was within a mile of
Hetch Hetchy Reservoir, the source
of San Francisco s famously pure
drinking water, officials said yes-
"Obviously, it s the water supply
of the city of San Francisco, so we re
paying a lot of attention to that,"
said Glen Stratton, an operations
section chief on the fire.
The fire, which has grown to 234
square miles in size, also posed a
threat to giant sequoias in Yosemite
National Park. Crews used sprin-
klers and lighting fires to clear
brush, though the fire remained
several miles from the massive trees,
Another part of the fire that is
also burning into the park was not
of major concern because it was
running into rocks that are not
heavily forested, Stratton said.
While it has closed some back-
country hiking, the fire has not
threatened the Yosemite Valley, such
sights as the Half Dome and El
Capitan rock formations and
Bridalveil and Yosemite falls draw
throngs of tourists. Most of the park
remained open to visitors. Park
spokesman Scott Gediman said
yesterday he was not aware of any
additional threats to the park
The US Forest Service said about
4,500 structures were threatened
by the fire. At least 23 structures
have been destroyed, though offi-
cials have not determined whether
they were homes or rural outbuild-
Firefighters were aided by move-
ment of the blaze into less forested
areas and cooler temperatures
caused at least in part by the shad-
ow cast by the large plume of smoke
from the blaze, said Jerry Snyder,
a spokesman for the Stanislaus
Inaccessible terrain, strong winds
and bone-dry conditions have
hampered firefighters efforts to
contain the Rim Fire, which began
San Francisco gets 85 per cent
of its water from Hetch Hetchy as
well as power for municipal build-
ings, the international airport and
San Francisco General Hospital.
The threat to the city s utilities
prompted Gov Jerry Brown to
declare a state of emergency for
Despite ash falling like snowflakes
on the reservoir and a thick haze
of smoke limiting visibility to 100
feet, the quality of the water piped
to the city 150 miles away was still
good, according to officials with
the San Francisco Public Utilities
The city s hydroelectric power
generated by the system has been
interrupted by the fire, forcing the
utility to spend US$600,000 buying
power on the open market. (AP)
Wildfire threatens 4,500 structures
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