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Flooding & Survival Supplies

Flooding is foreign to many of us, but all too familiar to some.  Flooding could be the result of excessive rainfall over land, or due to storm surge and/or oceanic-generated disasters like tidal waves and hurricanes.  It's best to just not live in a flood plain, below sea level, or near the coast line.

Communications.  This is one of those scenarios where radio and tv information can actually be useful (if you can stand listening to all of the hype and fear mongering).  Radar images, NOAA information, eye-witness accounts.  Information like this can help you figure out what your next step will be.  Evacuate or not?  Is there rioting nearby?

Radio.  Get one with a NOAA band.  Batteries.  Have them.  Better yet, have batteries, as well as a way to charge rechargeables, a radio with a handcrank is best so you don't need batteries at all.  Power can be disrupted by flooding, or any disaster, so charging cell phones and keeping food cold can also be an issue.

Safety.  A good first aid kit is a must for any situation, even daily life.  That said, your best preparation for flooding safety-wise is arming yourself with knowledge about what to do and not do in a flooding scenario.  Things like:

  • Learning how to swim.  Don't laugh, some people can't.
  • If flash flooding is a possibility, get to high ground.  Things can change within minutes.
  • Do not try to walk or drive through moving water.  As little as 6" can make you fall.
  • Secure your home if you need to leave the area.

Food / Water.  Think hurricane Katrina and people sitting on their roofs surrounded by water -- and they all needed water to drink.  The irony of that situation would be funny if it wasn't so tragic.  If you had a water filter, you would be able to stay alive on your roof for days and days on end without food even.  Add a box full of canned goods or emergency ration bars and (other than bathroom issues) there really would be no need for immediate rescue.

Flooding is one of those scenarios, like an earthquake, that you really need to be prepared ahead of time and have all of your supplies staged in a "go bag" or go container of some sort so when it happens you can grab and go quickly.  You do not want to be picking and packing supplies in a frazzled state of mind, as not only will it stress you out, but it will slow you down and you'll forget things.

Flood waters always recede.  You may be able to get back to your home quickly, or maybe you were spared and stayed at home.  Storage food is good, but if you're in a flood prone area, have it packed in a water proof manner, preferably in the highest point your home will allow.  Another option is to store your food at a location you know you'll be going to in the case of flood/hurricane.  Make sure your car always has 3/4 tank of gas, or store an extra 20 gallons to make the trip out of town.

Water begat water.  Floods can contaminate drinking water supplies.  Water all around you, but that water = danger.  A filter will see you through, garnering clean water anytime anywhere.  Prepare your food for getting out quickly.  If you may have to leave your supplies, make sure you have built in protections against water and moisture.  It would be very demoralizing if your survival supplies were destroyed by the very disaster which requires that you use them.

In closing, flooding is an almost predictable, slow-developing disaster.  If you prepare now, your home may still be destroyed, but your psyche and morale can remain in tact and help you remain calm and comfortable.  If you wait to prepare, however, local supplies will all be bought out and you may feel confused and dazed once the disaster plays out.