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Village of Glendale Heights
Village of Glendale Heights
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Flood Safety and Protection

Flood Safety

Your safety during floods is of utmost importance. Here are some tips to help you get through a flood:

Early warning: If you know a flood is coming, you should shut off the gas and electricity and move valuable contents upstairs. It is unlikely that you will have a great deal of warning time so a checklist prepared in advance would help ensure you don't forget anything.

Do not walk through flowing water: Drowning is the number one cause of flood deaths. Most of these drownings occur during flash floods. Six inches of moving water can knock you off your feet. Use a pole or stick to make sure that the ground is still there before you go through an area where the water is flowing.

Do not drive through a flooded area: More people drown in their cars than anywhere else. Don't drive around road barriers; the road or bridge may be washed out.

Stay away form power lines and electrical wires: Electrocution is also a major killer in floods. Electrical current can travel through water. Report downed power lines to your utility company or local emergency manager.

Turn off your electricity: Stand on a dry spot and use a wooden stick to turn off your electricity. Some appliances, such as television sets, can shock you even after they have been unplugged. Do not use appliances or motors that have gotten wet unless they have been taken apart, cleaned and dried.

Watch for animals, especially snakes: Small animals that have been flooded out of their homes may seek shelter in yours. Use a pole or stick to poke and turn items over and scare away small animals.

Look before you step: After a flood, the ground and floors are covered with debris including broken bottles and nails. Floors and stairs that have been covered with mud can be very slippery.

Be alert for gas leaks: Use a flashlight to inspect for damage. Do not smoke or use candles, lanterns, or open flames unless you are sure that the gas has been turned off and the area has been aired out.

Carbon monoxide exhaust kills: Use a generator or other gasoline-powered machine outdoors. The same goes for camping stove. Fumes from charcoal are especially deadly - cook with charcoal only outdoors.

Clean everything that got wet: Floodwaters may have picked up sewage and chemicals from roads, farms, factories, and storage buildings. Spoiled food and flooded cosmetics and medicines are health hazards. When in doubt, throw them out.

Take good care of yourself: Recovering from a flood is a big job. It is tough on both the body and spirit.

Flood Protection

If your property has flooded in the past, you are encouraged to think about floodproofing your home to protect your property in the future. Many floodproofing measures are quite simple, cost effective, and easy to put in place. The Village will assist you by providing flood protection information. Call the Community Development Department at 630.260.6030 for more information.

The following provides a brief description of four types of floodproofing:

  • Floodwalls: One way to keep the floodwaters away is by regrading the lot, or building a small floodwall or earthern berm. This method works if the lot is large enough and if flooding is not too deep.
  • Dry Floodproofing: This method involves sealing a building to keep floodwaters out. All areas below the flood protection level are made watertight. Dry floodproofing is not recommended if the flood protection level is more than 2 or 3 feet and is generally not appropriate for houses with basements or crawlspaces.
  • Wet Floodproofing: This method means modifying a building so that floodwaters will cause only minimal damage to the building and contents. Building materials below the flood protection level are replaced with materials that are resistant to water. Objects that cannot be moved such as furnaces, water heaters, appliances, and bookcases can be raised on permanent platforms or reinstalled upstairs.
  • Elevation/Relocation: These methods are appropriate for homes subject to deep flooding (more than 6') and is the only reasonable and dependable measure for floodproofing. Elevation involves raising the house above the flood level on an elevated foundation. Relocation involves moving the building out of the flood prone area on higher ground either on the same lot if it is large enough or onto a new lot.

The Village has assisted the Glenside Library in providing the community with a number of reference books, maps, ordinances and studies relating to floodplain management, flood protection, and flood insurance. Books that are now available provide valuable information on floodproofing both residential and non-residential structures and helpful information regarding the purchase of flood insurance. A directory of federal, state and local agencies who can provide additional information and assistance is also available at the library.

If you experience flooding or drainage issues on your property, Village staff may be able to assist you. We will provide you with information, make inspections, give professional opinions, and guide you through the proper steps to help resolve your issue, without negatively affecting your neighbors.