Surviving a Flood: Are You Prepared?December 2, 2015 by James Smith | Be the first to comment »
Perhaps nature’s most devastating natural disaster in terms of magnitude and costs, flooding amounts to losses worth billions of dollars and thousands of lives, each year. It doesn’t help that, as global weather worsens, the risk of low-land floods is rising. The world’s no. 1 natural disaster, floods can happen anywhere, anytime – even in areas that don’t receive a lot of rainfall or water. That’s why it’s so important to be well-prepared for floods, no matter where you live. Given the unpredictable and often shocking history of floods, you never know when you’ll need to put your flood survival plan into immediate action.
Here’s what you need to get started on, right away, to make sure you’re prepped up for flood survival, well in advance.
Establish an evacuation route
You must have heard that the best course of action when a flood hits, is to head for higher ground. But do you know where the higher ground is, and how to get to it? Knowing such details in advance will allow you to have a well-defined evacuation plan, should a flood strike. Map the area where you live, so that you know not just where to head in times of flooding, but also how to get there without putting yourself or your loved ones at risk of drowning or injury. If the people you live with commute to different points through the day, use a flood map to establish a safe meet-up point – when the flood strikes, this is the point where you should be gathering.
Stock 3-5 days worth of food and water
Floods can block off access to not just distant points in your town or locale, but even the house next door. That’s why it’s vital to stock up on at least three days’ worth of food and water supplies. You should have a gallon of water per day, for each member in the household. For food, purchase non-perishable items and canned goods you don’t need to cook.
Build a flood-ready home
Whether you live in a low-risk or high-risk area, flood readiness is important at all times. Have back-flow valves installed in all your sinks and drains, to prevent water flooding into the house. Seal your walls with a waterproof sealer, to help keep water out. Install a sump pump in your basement, to pump out flood water should disaster strike.
Purchase sand and sandbags
It’s not always possible or required to leave your home, during flooding. However, it’s always important to buttress your place against flooding. That’s where sandbags come in; properly filled and laid sandbags allow individuals to block doorways, drains and manholes, to prevent water from backing up. However, demand for sandbags skyrockets in times of flooding – it’s not the government’s job to ensure everyone has enough sandbags to block their kitchen and toilet drains, so if you don’t purchase them in advance, there’s a high chance you might be left out in the cold, struggling to block water from flooding your home.
Stock up on the required number of unfilled sandbags, as well as the requisite amount of sand, right now. Sandbags are more effective in conjunction with plastic sheeting, so purchase that as well. Be sure you know how to effectively use or lay a sandbag, or you could find yourself stuck with dozens of sandbags that don’t help with anything.
Have a well-planned bug out bag
Your bug out bag is rarely ever so important, as it is in a flood. Just six inches of moving water is enough to sweep away a car and, if you’re caught in a ferocious flood, you might very well have to abandon your home and automobile to head for higher-lying land. In times like these, your bug-out bag, whether you choose tailor-made for you, by you, or a pre-packaged bug out bag, should have everything you could need, to survive in the rough – from your first aid kit and water-bottle, to a powerful torch and cellphone power banks. Remember to include a flood map, as well as a general map of your surroundings. Also make sure your bag carries a portable, rechargeable radio – a lot of life-saving information is relayed over the radio, during floods.