Getting hit by lightning is not fun! If you would like to help me in my recovery efforts, which include moving to the SW, feel free to hit the fundraiser at A New Life on GiveSendGo, use the options in the Tip Jar in the upper right, or drop me a line to discuss other methods. It is thanks to your gifts and prayers that I am still going. Thank you.
Flooding is one of the hardest things for which to prepare. Unless it is something like your basement flooding because of drainage issues, there is little practical about it.
In my case, where I rent does have flooding of the basement because of issues with sewer drains and lines that are headed towards being a century old. Clay pipe has a useful life, and it is long past. Short-term solution is sump pumps to divert the rain water elsewhere. Really need to add a battery backup to that, but that is up the landlord. FYI, at great expense, the landlord replaced the pipes and such out to the property line. It’s from there to the sewer that the problems lie, and that means lawyers and a huge amount of expense.
In watching what is hitting California, and the hurricane(s) in Florida last year, a few quick thoughts to share this morning. The quickest and easiest way to avoid flooding is to not move onto a flood plain. That may not always be possible because of circumstances, but it really is the only way to avoid the issue.
If you can’t avoid it, look at how often the area floods. If it is every year, no. Don’t care how good the deal, it’s not worth it. If it is subject to 10, 20, or 100 year floods, the roll of the dice is up to you. It may be possible to find a place where through creative landscaping, you can reduce your risk. Or, you may can find a place where you can use sandbags over a limited arc to prevent flooding.
If you have to encircle your entire home, it’s not good. It is, in fact, a massive amount of work that may not work as well as you need it to. The higher you need the wall to go, the wider it needs to be at the base to be water resistant and to support the weight of the wall. And you are going to need pumps to handle what does come through. You will also need to have a way to shut off your sewer as water can and will come in and flood you via that system. For all that cities are supposed to have backflow prevention, they often don’t or it fails under the load.
If it is recommended (or required) that you evacuate, do it. Grab your bugout bags, if there is time grab some important things, but get out. It’s like evacuating for a wildfire: your life is worth more than even extremely sentimental possessions. If you don’t, or the flooding happens too fast, if you have an upstairs, move as much up as possible. If not, make sure you have access to the attic and a way to cut a hole in the roof so you can get out. I will suggest that if floods are frequent and of a surrounding nature, you might want to invest in a life raft as it’s a better option than drowning.
Which brings up another point. For the love of all that is Holy, DO NOT WALK OR DRIVE INTO FLOOD WATERS!
When walking, you don’t know what’s below, and drains are a great way to get you or your children sucked down to drown. You can get hurt other ways as well. If you watch them in action, you will note that rescue crews are very careful when they have to walk in flood waters, and even in shallow water they are inclined to use boats. You should be paying attention to that.
When driving, you are going to be (often briefly) surprised at the power of the water to take your vehicle where it wants to rather than to where you wanted to go. The bridge that used to be there may no longer be there. There are other hazards as well, and even if you are in the biggest most badass military truck there is, the water will win if you fight it. Notice how rescue convoys operate in flood waters and learn from it. We lose more people than we should each year to this bit of idiocy.
The smart thing to do is, unless absolutely a matter of life and death, don’t get out in or on floodwaters.
Just a few quick thoughts to share on the one thing for which there is very limited practical preparedness.