Flood is a quite common natural disaster in Lithuania. It is caused by strong downpours, rapidly thawing snow, high waters in rivers, e.g. extra water driven by the wind raises the water level in estuaries. Annual flooding threatens the health and lives of inhabitants and their property, making it necessary to prepare for this natural disaster in advance.
Before a flood
The best protection for people is to evacuate from the dangerous territory. We advise pregnant women, the sick, elderly people and children to get out of the flood zone into a safer place.
If you decide to remain in the flood zone, then start preparing for flood risk:
- Get a reliable means of floating transportation (raft or boat);
- Stock up for a minimum of 10 days: provide yourself with necessary waterproof clothing (fishing waders, rubber footwear etc.), long lasting imperishable food products, medicine; drinking water, matches, candles, lanterns, fuel wood, mobile phone and replacement spare batteries.
- Prepare raised platforms for animals and furniture;
- Properly isolate all electrical wiring to reduce the chance of short circuits;
- Take vegetables, food stocks and valuables out of the cellar;
- Take light objects that can be ruined by water to the top floors and attics;
- Tighten the wells so that the contaminated surface water cannot get into them;
- Protect the homestead against ice floes; peg in protective poles;
- Mark the way to the homestead from the main road with flags or other signs;
- Remove fertilizers and pesticides from deluged places;
- Verify that there are no opened pollutants (chemicals, oils etc.) in garages, detached buildings or pantries which could contaminate the environment;
- Secure petrochemical reservoirs;
- Grease the metal parts of any remaining equipment (mechanisms) with a thick layer of grease, reinforce individual parts;
- Purchase life and property insurance for you and your family members;
NB. If you decide to go to a safer place, turn off the water, gas, and electricity before leaving your house; take along documents, valuables, the most necessary items, a supply of food, medicine, and close the doors and (or nail) windows. Register with the local government so that an accurate count can be made of how many people remain in the flooded territory.
During a flood
It is recommended to evacuate from the flood zone.
For inhabitants who decide not to leave their residence, we advise:
- Keep in touch with your neighbours and be ready to help each other;
- If it is already flooded around your house, go to the top floors; if you have a bungalow, go to the attic.
- Learn how to signal for help: a raised piece of cloth (a lit lantern at night) – help is needed, while swinging a piece of cloth (a blinking lantern at night) ‒ urgent help is needed;
- If wading through a flooded area, check your path with a stick so you would not fall into a pit full of water;
- If a group of people must wade through a flooded area, it’s best to join each other with a rope;
- If you fall into the water, take off your heavy clothes and footwear, try to catch objects floating nearby or sticking out of the water, hold on strongly until help arrives;
- Help wild animals (roes, foxes, hares etc.), who are in trouble because of the flooding. Carry them from isolated islets to fields.
After a flood
It is strictly forbidden to touch downed wires, to perform repair work on electrical systems and equipment without permission or to power on units, machine tools and other installations.
- Inform the corresponding services about loss of power as well as broken water pipes and gas lines and wait for help;
- Do not eat food that has become wet;
- In order to avoid infectious diseases running through the water (dysentery, cholera, belly typhus, poliomyelitis etc.):
- Inform the local government about the flood damage.