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What to do during floods? Safety guide, emergency helplines and how to help if you're unaffected

Many states are facing the wrath of floods across the country. Here are some of the steps that you should take to stay safe

August 09, 2019 / 01:43 PM IST
Representational Image (PTI)

Representational Image (PTI)

Flood situations have been reported in several parts of India since the onset of the monsoons. Assam and Bihar were the first states to be affected by floods, reporting loss of lives and destruction. Right now, several districts in South Indian states Kerala and Karnataka are submerged, with the death toll slowly climbing.

As heavy rainfalls are inundating most low-lying areas, landslides are also being reported, with one of them taking place near Kerala’s Wayanad.

Rescue operations are on in both states, with the National Disaster Response Force and Army being mobilised to rescue those in distress. Meanwhile, the Indian Navy is carrying out rescue operations in Maharashtra’s Sangli and Kolhapur districts.

Flash floods such as these are natural disasters that are triggered by unprecedented, incessant rainfall and cause power outages, landslides, and building collapses. Given that floods are so common in India, here are some of the steps that you should take in the face of such a calamity.

Natural calamities strike us unannounced and there is only so much that meteorological departments can predict, with forecasts going wrong several times. Therefore, it is of utmost importance to be prepared beforehand.


- Keep sandbags ready to use as barriers that would stop floodwater from flowing into your house to some extent.

- Keep emergency survival kits ready with first aid and water disinfectants.

- Charge your cellphone and torch batteries; keep extra batteries handy if possible.

- Pay heed to evacuation warnings and move immediately to higher ground.

- Turn off switches and disconnect all electrical appliances. Remember death due to electrocution is very common in such situations.

- Carry a walking stick while wading through water because it is difficult to assess the depth of the water or gauge what is the ground underneath is firm otherwise.

- If you are inside a car and get stuck in a flooded area, remember to roll down the windows first. Several people lose their lives as the water jams their glass windows, resulting in deaths due to suffocation.

- Keep state-wise flood control room numbers handy.

That apart, numbers of disaster relief forces and Army should be kept handy.

- NDRF control room number: 011-26107953, 09711077372

- Army helpline numbers: 011- 23332045, 011- 23019831, 011- 23322045

- Additional Army helpline number: 011- 23332045

- MHA control room numbers: 011- 23093054, 23092763, 23092923, 23092885, 23093566, 23093563

- Centralised Helpline ( INDIA ) – NDMA 1078  or   011-26701700

If you're unaffected from the floods and still want to help somehow, you can donate money to respective states' Chief Minister disaster relief funds or simply contribute Prime Minister Relief Fund through this link:

PM relief fund:

CM relief fund




Jagyaseni Biswas
first published: Aug 9, 2019 01:43 pm

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