Episode 62 S2-27
Flooding: How to Prepare and Stay Safe
Without Land Ch 27
There are many ways to prepare yourself, your home and your belongings before a flood happens to you. First of all, do not move to a flood zone if you can avoid doing so. If you live in a flood zone or are forced to move there get flood insurance. Look at the plan carefully and make sure you understand the fine details about the coverage. Then take inventory of your home. Take pictures and document everything you own: household appliances, electronics, jewelry, artwork, clothing, everything! Put this documentation in a secure cloud storage or on a remote server. This way you can retrieve the documents from another location. Alternatively, you can store them in a waterproof, fireproof safe.
There are some easy steps you can take to prepare your home. If you have a basement make certain
you have a sump pump and a battery operated back up sump pump. Install a water alarm into your basement. Keep your gutters clean. If you don't clean them regularly water will go where you don't want it to go. Ensure that all of your electrical is 12" above the projected flood plane. Install back flow valves in piping. Know how to turn off all of your utilities in the event of a flood. Have sandbags and thick plastic sheeting ready to use. Lining your sandbags with this plastic sheeting will improve their ability to keep water at bay. When sandbagging focus on doorways, windows and anywhere water can easily flow into your home. You can also use the sandbags to deflect the flow of water from your home.
When flooding occurs you have to know when to leave. in 2015, 155 people died from flooding. That's more than most other natural disaster death statistics. The reason is people are not leaving when told to do so. Have one go-bag per person and drinking water stored in jugs to avoid contamination. Have first aid kits on hand and your maps in waterproof sheeting. Know your evacuation routes and practice them often. You have to know these routes very well because the floods may remove signs and landmarks. Know your emergency numbers and call a loved one in a different geographical location before you leave. U.S. topographic maps and google elevation maps will help you find what routes exist at higher elevations.
You bug out vehicle should be ready for flood conditions as well. Include emergency life vests in the vehicle. Have an emergency SOS beacon and an amateur radio available. You should also include a device that will break your window. Sometimes the head rest build into your car is equipped for window breaking and also certain tactical flashlights are made to break car window glass.
When traveling water poses a dangerous threat. Less than two feet of moving water can sweep your car away. The water gets in-between the tire and the road and then the side pressure moves your car wherever it want to. Even big trucks are challenged to move across moving water so don't just assume that because your truck is a monster you are going to make it. When walking you need to learn good techniques to do so, less than six inches of water can take your legs out from under you. Use proper river crossing techniques to traverse the water and you can use your walking stick to judge depth as you go.
Here are some tips to get out safely. Number one listen to the radio and watch the news. Pay attention to the weather alerts. They can be annoying but don't tune them out because it could be the difference between life and death. Number two, make any last minute evacuation preparations. Number three, fill your sandbags and build leak reduction barriers with thick plastic. Number four, elevate important things as high as possible. Number five, if you have a flash flood warning (not a watch) get out immediately. If you wait too long it may be too late. Stay out of the flood water, often times it is very toxic.
Know 3 destinations to go to in 3 different directions. Know 3 routes to get to each destination and have 3 rest stops along the way where you can meet up with any group members who get split up during the evacuation.
Featured Quote From Today's Chapter:
"Time has a funny effect on memories: boring parts get deleted and exciting parts get dramatized for the listener."
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