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Flash floods and floods

interior.gencat.cat/inundacions

Safety tips

Before the rainy season comes

Check out the location of the main electrical switch and gas shutoff valve.

Prevent the deterioration of the roof and the terraces to avoid leaks that can affect the structure of the building.

Make sure that your roof's gutters and downspouts are in good condition, especially in courtyards or roofs of the buildings.

In basements and flood-prone places, anticipate measures of protection and keep at hand tools to remove the water (water pumps, etc).

Keep within reach handy items like a radio, a flashlight, essential medicines, warm and waterproof clothing (raincoats, rain boots, etc.) as well as important personal documents.

In the car, it is also advisable to bring a flashlight, warm clothing, a raincoat, a first-aid kit and a road map.

Do not forget to bring the mobile fully loaded: it will allow you to ask for help in case you suffer an emergency.

If you have to travel, check the weather forecast, the road network conditions and plan your route:

Servei Meteorològic de Catalunya (SMC) (weather forecast service)

Servei Català de Trànsit (Updated traffic Information)

Portal de la mobilitat (Mobility Information)

012 Atenció Ciutadana (Citizen Service System)

In an emergency situation follow the information and indications of the authorities. Stay informed through the social media (radio stations, television, web, Twitter, etc.).

Remember, if you need help during the emergency, call 112.

 

 

At home

 

 

If a flash flood happens when at home:

Do not go down to the floodable zones of your home such as the basement, the garage, etc. Stay upstairs.

Do not leave out objects or furniture which can be dragged by water.
Shut all the doors and windows to seal all the possible cracks.
Move your pets, food, drinkable water, important documents, valuables items and, above all, dangerous products (like poison for the rats, solvents, etc.) to a high and a  safe place.

If you are hit by flooding, switch off the electricity supply.

If you do not feel safe in the building you are in, go out, shut the door and move to higher ground.

 

If you have to leave your house:

Turn off the main power and water.

Make sure you shut windows and close doors.

Pack a cane, a flashlight, waterproof clothes, suitable footwear and personal documentation, money and useful medicines.

Avoid walking through flood waters and if necessary use the cane to measure the depth of water or detect dangerous zones. Tune in to the local radio or television news for updates.

 

Back home when the flood is over:

Check for structural damage of your house and do not access it if there is danger of collapse.

After a flood water may not be safe to drink: boil it or drink bottled water.

Assess all food before eating anything.

Remove dead animals immediately.

 

At home

Outdoor safety

If you are caught outdoors during a heavy downpour:

In urban areas, look for shelter inside a secure building and make sure you close all doors and windows.

In the countryside, head for higher places far from the river side, ravines, watercourses or torrents.

 When driving:

Take the main roads and highways. Reduce your speed and leave more space between you and the vehicle in front of you to account for greater stopping distances.

Whenever visibility is poor, pull off and turn on your hazard lights.

Get away from streams, torrents and flood-prone areas and do not park your car there. Do not stay on bridges because they can collapse.

Do not attempt to cross any river, stream or flooded area. Even if it does not seem so, flood waters can easily sweep your car away.

If you have to drive through a big puddle of water, approach it  in a low gear and avoid water to splash the engine because it will probably stall. Once you have crossed the flooded area test your brakes.

If the car starts to float and begins to be carried away, leave it immediately. People who stay inside do not often make it.

Watch out for earth slides, holes, drains, loose electrical wires, and in general, fallen objects (downed trees, etc.).

 

You must leave your car and head for higher ground when:

  • Your car becomes trapped in the water.
  • You notice the floodwaters get to high on the road.
  • You notice the floodwaters rise to the axis level of your car.
  • You are unable to open the door get out through your car window.

 

 

Imatge: risc al cotxe davant el riu

At the coast

The Mediterranean basin is prone to storms and strong winds that stir up the sea creating big waves on the coast. Although you think there is no obvious danger you must be still careful because the maritime storm can knock you down and drag you away.

In case of big waves refrain from swimming and do not stay on the beach. Watch for safety signs.

Maximize precautions in water sport activities on the sea and avoid them in case of huge waves.

Do not go near the shore affected by rough waves or where waves pound more strongly. Respect the access closures to these points for your security.

Do not stop to watch the sea waves: avoid danger.

Stay away from quay walls, breakwaters, promenades and other places where waves are near. Look for a safe place.

Should someone fall into the water call immediately 112 and keep in mind the exact location where the person has fallen in order to inform the rescue crew.

In case you fall into the water, swim opposite the rocks and try floating without making much effort, and wait for help to come.

Update:  26.10.2018