Listed below are issues you should be aware of:
- Do not walk through flowing water. Drowning is the number one cause of flood deaths. Currents can be deceptive. If you walk in standing water be sure to use a pole or stick to ensure that firm ground is ahead.
- Do not drive through a flooded area. Road barriers are there for your protection.
- Stay away from power lines and electrical wires. The number two flood killer after drowning is electrocution. Electrical current travels through water. If you see downed power lines report them immediately to the Village Police Department by dialing 911.
- Have your electricity turned off by Commonwealth Edison. If you have been flooded you should be aware that some appliances, such as televisions, hold electrical charges even after they have been unplugged. Do not use appliances or motors that have been wet unless they have been cleaned and checked by a professional. Commonwealth Edison’s phone number is 1-800-Edison-1 (1-800-334-7661).
- Be alert for gas leaks. Use a flashlight to inspect for damage. Do not smoke or use candles, lanterns, or open flames unless you know the gas has been turned off and the area has been ventilated. (Nicor Gas emergency phone number is 1-888-Nicor4u or 1-866-642-6748).
- Look out for animals. Small animals or reptiles that have been flooded out of their homes may seek shelter in yours.
- Clean everything that got wet. Flood waters have picked up sewage and chemicals from roads, farms, factories, and storage buildings. Spoiled food, flooded cosmetics, and medicine can be health hazards. When in doubt, throw them out.
- So not use gas engines, such as generators, or charcoal fires indoors during power outages. Carbon monoxide exhaust can pose serious health hazards.
- Preparation is very important in any emergency situation. Please be aware of things you can do to alleviate flooding in your area. Plan ahead and feel free to contact the Village of Niles Police Department or Public Works Department with any question you may have.
Floodproofing & Property Protection MeasuresIf your property is susceptible to flooding, there are many flood damage reduction measures you can employ.
- Watertight seals can be applied to brick and block walls to protect against low-level flooding.
- Utilities such as heating and air conditioning systems, water heaters and other major appliances can be elevated to higher floors in the structure or on raised platforms.
- Temporary measures such as moving furniture and other valuables to higher floors or sandbagging exterior openings will also help.
- Elevating or relocating the entire structure may also be a feasible option.
- If you know that a flood is coming, you should shut off the gas and electricity.
- It is always helpful to have a prepared check list.
- The Village of Niles has a Flood Control Assistance Program for qualified participants.
- The Illinois Department of Natural Resources has developed a Guide to Floodproofing.
- Any alteration to your building requires a permit from the Community Development Department. Any alteration to your site requires a permit from the Engineering Department.