Preparing for Heavy Rains and Flooding

Spring rains and melting mountain snow can spell catastrophe for those who live near rivers, streams or other bodies of water. It is hard to fully grasp the power of water until you see it up close and personal. Water is a force to be reckoned with and can tear away roads and the ground they sit on top of with very little effort. Washouts, sinkholes and flooding in general can be devastating. Even when you think you are prepared, you may not truly be ready for the aftermath of water running over riverbeds and creating it’s own path.

If you are traveling anywhere this spring, always be prepared. You could find yourself stuck for hours if a road has been washed out.

The following items should be a part of your spring emergency vehicle kit.

  • Ponchos—several
  • Extra pairs of socks
  • Rainboots or waterproof boots
  • Change of clothes (being wet will chill you and be miserable in general)
  • Food
  • Water
  • Wet wipes (you are going to get dirty if you are stuck in a hole or in the mud)
  • Folding shovel
  • Hand warmers
  • Toilet paper
  • Portable cell phone charger
  • Tow chain
  • Water repellent jacket

Make sure you have a full tank of gas, just in case you need to sit in your car with the engine running to stay warm.

If you find yourself stuck in the mud or the victim of a surprise washout or sinkhole, you may have to try and get yourself out. In many cases, it is a quick fix, but you will get wet and muddy. Be prepared and if you happen to find yourself on a road that has been closed temporarily or stranded alone on a deserted road, you will be able to deal with the consequences much easier.

Flooding and Your Preps—What Can You Do?

flood-139000_960_720Imagine all of your hard work and the money you invested into stockpiling food is washed away in a matter of hours due to a flood. It would be devastating. You would be left with nothing at a time when you needed it most. Starting over would be daunting. The very thought of spending money on new food stores and emergency supplies would be overwhelming. For some, it would be financially impossible. What can you do to protect your emergency supplies from being washed away in a flood?

Know Your Flood Zones

Your best line of defense is knowing whether or not your home is in a flood plain. This can be researched at your local county office or by searching the government site here. You enter your address and a map pops up to let you know what the likelihood of flooding is in your area. If you are in a flood zone, buy the insurance that specifically covers floods. The majority of homeowner’s insurance policies do not cover flooding.

Prepare for Floodsclimate-165080_960_720

If you are in an area where flooding is a possibility, you need to know just how much flood waters you can expect. Is it going to be a few inches or could it be a complete washout? While it is impossible to predict, you can get a general idea by knowing where the flood waters would be coming from. Plan accordingly. Never store your preps directly on the ground. Secure shelving so that the bottom shelf is a minimum of 6 inches off the ground. If you expect higher flood waters, make that bottom shelf a bit higher.

Waterproof Your Preps

Placing your food inside 5-gallon buckets sealed with lids is an excellent way to protect it from flood waters. It would be a good idea to add another layer of protection by placing the food inside Mylar bags or large plastic bags, place the bags into the buckets and then seal the buckets. This will keep the food dry and safe to use. In some rare cases, water may manage to get inside a bucket. If this is the case, toss the food. Never eat food that has been contaminated by flood waters that may harbor all sorts of chemicals, bacteria and viruses.

Flooding can be devastating, but it doesn’t have to destroy everything you have worked to build up. Pay attention to news reports and do what you can to save your emergency supplies, but never risk your life for them. You can always start again.

Shelter in Place or Evacuate

Depending on the emergency, you may need to “shelter in place” or evacuate. You should have a plan for each scenario and make sure your family is familiar with that plan.

Evacuation

When you are ordered to evacuate an area, that isn’t the best time to figure out your game plan. And the best evacuation plan is utilized before the evacuation order takes place.

First, learn what dangers are likely to lead to an evacuation order in your area. Is you are prone to flooding? Hurricanes? Wildfires? Do you know where you will go? Continue reading