Preparing for a flood – get ready before the water starts rising gas in california


Preparing for a flood is extremely important. Flooding is one of the most common natural disasters in the United States (and in many other parts of the world). It occurs across the country, but those that live in areas that are lower in elevation than a nearby body of water (streams, lakes, oceans, etc.) are especially at risk. Knowing how to prepare for a flood can save you and your family.

Floods kill more people in the United States every year than lightning, hurricanes or tornadoes. They also cause roughly $5 billion a year in damages. This is due, in part, to complacency by those in flood areas. Water is just not all that intimidating compared to other types of disasters.

Flooding can occur in a number of ways. The most common ways are when the ground in an area cannot absorb rain or melting snow, strong winds push seawater inland during a storm, when a waterway is blocked by ice and debris or when a man-made structure like a dam or sewer breaks.

Flash floods are the most dangerous type of flood and can occur with no warning at all. They are the number one cause of weather-related deaths. They occur when water quickly fills normally dry streams and river beds or when storm drains become overwhelmed.

Urban areas struck by flash flooding are especially at risk as they are normally covered in either concrete or asphalt, preventing flood waters from being absorbed. Runoff from buildings only compounds the effect. This channels the water over roadways and sidewalks and into low areas like underpasses, subway tunnels, parking structures and basements.

River flooding normally accompanies long periods of heavy rainfall causing water levels to rise over the top of the river bank. Severe tropical storms can cause river flooding in a relatively short period of time. Melting snow and ice can increase the chances of a river flood. Coastal Floods

Floods along the coast are caused by a combination of storm surge (rising water levels caused by high winds) and heavy rainfall. If these are combined with a high tide, water levels can get especially high. Look at the pictures of the after effects of Hurricane Katrina for an example of the possible destructive power of storm surge.

There is also a printable flood map available. It allows you to type in your address or Lat/Long coordinates to get a printable flood map of your area. This would be good to have pre-printed and stored along with any other plans you may have.

Even if you are not at risk of flooding where you are now, make sure you take the threat of flooding into account for any bug out location you may have planned as well as along the route you will likely have to take to get there. Floods can wash out roads and cause mudslides. When is flooding likely to occur?

For the United States, June to November are considered hurricane season. This puts the coasts at higher risk during those times. Heavy rain puts the Midwest at risk in the summer, and the Southwest is at risk during the later summer. The Northeast and Northwest are at a higher risk in the spring when melting snow will add to any rainfall. How long will flood waters stay around?

I’m going to cover preparing for a flood in a modern “grid-up” environment. If you were preparing for a flood in a grid-down situation, many of these steps would be the same. The ones that wouldn’t apply, like getting insurance, will be pretty obvious.

If you are in a flood-prone area, I’d suggest getting flood insurance policy. You probably have to have it anyway, and on the off chance that your home gets damaged by a flood you’re going to want it. Think of insurance as just another prep. You have food and water just in case something bad happens…you get insurance for the same reason.

Flood water is often contaminated with sewage and can spread diseases. You can read more about waterborne diseases in this article. Try to keep anything that touches flood water away from your mouth, nose, and eyes. Coming in contact with feces-contaminated water is one of the main ways that waterborne pathogens are spread.

Hurricane Katrina and Sandy were not simply floods, they obviously had high winds associated with the damage they caused, but a vast amount of damage was caused by the flooding that accompanied them. This allows us to look at them and take away some lessons learned. We should always strive to learn from disasters.

Communication channels cannot handle the sheer volume of people all trying to communicate at once when a large-scale disaster happens in a densely populated area. Other means of communication become important. Twitter was used extensively by survivors of Sandy. Be creative and think outside of the box when it comes to making contact with loved ones.

Fuel and just in time food delivery could be interrupted for weeks. The same goes for disruptions to electrical and water services. To better prepare for long-term flooding, you can stock clean water and non-perishable food items beforehand. This can be as simple as having several days worth of bottled water and canned food stored in the back of a closet.