The recent floods in Texas have once again brought to light how important preparing for disasters can be. Preppers are so often painted as people who are waiting for the world to end, but the truth is a real prepper is dedicated to preparing their family for whatever there is to come. Whether it is an economic crash, truly TEOTWAWKI, or a devastating a natural disaster, those who have taken the time to be prepared will be in a far better position than those that did not.
In fact, surviving natural disasters is one of the key components of many people’s prepping plans. In light of recent events, you may decide you need to create or re-evaluate what your family’s plan is in case of flood.
Even if you live in an area where floods are unlikely, the information can still be useful in case of a freak storm. Also feel free to pass it along to those you might know who have higher flood risks. The truth is, however, floods can truly hit just about anywhere if the conditions are just right and this information could be beneficial for anyone.
Many survivors of floods will tell you, floods can hit quickly and leave you with little time to prepare. That is why smart preppers will always try to stay one step ahead of the storm.
First Things First…
The first thing you will want to determine is the level of risk in your specific area. This can usually be obtained from your local Red Cross, or from local emergency officials. You can also visit FloodSmart.gov to assess your risk.
If your home is by any bodies of water, you may want to put a little research into finding your home’s elevation. If a flood happens in your area, knowing your home’s elevation in comparison to the nearby body of water will allow you to determine when you and your home is truly in danger.
Make an Emergency Plan
Have a plan in action that begins when a flood watch is in place. Make sure everyone in your family knows where to go in case of a flood, in the event that you are separated from each other when the danger hits. If you home is in a danger zone, make sure you have an alternate place to rendezvous that everyone in your family is aware of. Plan for multiple escape routes from your home. In the case of a flood, certain roadways may be impassable, so know alternate routes to get you to higher ground.
Learn About Driving Safety
Before an event happens, it’s important to learn about driving safely in rainy and flooded conditions. Even if you have multiple escapes routes, you may find yourself in a position where you have to drive through standing water. Education could be key in this. Beyond learning safe maneuvering practices, you should also know your vehicle’s clearance, so you can make a better estimation when you may be escaping from a flooded area.
Guard Your Keepsakes
Birth certificates, important documents, pictures, you know, those things you just can’t replace… they need to be kept safe from floods, as well as fires and other disasters. Pack them up somewhere where they can keep without being ruined. With everything digital these days, I store all my family’s pictures on SD memory cards, I have one for each year. They are small so they easily fit in my safe, and I seal them in a foodsaver bag, just to keep them waterproof too. Whatever it is you want to save, make sure you have it safe in advance of any disaster, and it will be one less then to worry about when a disaster strikes.
Getting the Home Ready
If there is time, you will want to take a few precautions to get your home and items safe. Each person in your family can be assigned a job to take on in case of a serious flood risk.
- Clear leaves and debris from gutters and downspouts
- Unplug and raise electrical equipment to highest point possible.
- Place appliances (furnace, water heater, refrigerator, washer and dryer) on cement blocks and unplug them
- Move furniture and valuables to safer places
- Chain down any fuel tanks
If you are nearing the evacuation of your home, you will want to turn off any electricity, gas, water, that is running to your home. This will help minimize property damage. Make sure that everyone in your home that is old enough knows where the main switches to all of these are, in case they need to shut things down in a flood emergency.
Flood Essentials – The Supplies You Need to Have
If you live in a flood plain, you may want to invest in a sump pump to help clear water out of a flooded area, like a basement. Consider one that has a battery powered back-up in case the flood results in power failure.
Water Filter or Stored Water
When a flood hits, it doesn’t always require you to evacuate your home, but sometimes it can leave you without power or a way to get to the grocery store with ease. In these cases, and in a multiple number of other scenarios, water filters are a key to survival. Especially when flooding waters can affect the local water supply, and even taint the tap water that comes into your home.
Make sure you’ve got 72 hours’ worth of food at the minimum ready in case of flood. It may be difficult, depending on your location, to cook food at all, so make sure you have some MREs on hand.
In a flood, you’ll want to be able to received constant updates on the weather and the conditions. If the power is out, this may not be a possibility for some, which is why smart preppers make sure they have a battery powered, solar powered or hand crank radio, to stay connected to the latest news to keep your family safe. You may also consider a two-way radio, or a family walkie-talkie set, in case you are separated from your family.
Flashlights are essential as tools and as comfort when it gets too dark to see. Each person in the family should have their own flashlight, and don’t forget backup batteries too.
Emergency Rain Gear
If you have to go outside, you don’t want to be at the mercy of the elements. Make sure you have proper rain gear stored, and at the very least an emergency poncho for everyone in the family.
A propane heater, or other non-electrical powered heater is the way to go for flood situations. If you are stuck in your home, but without power, you will want to make sure you can keep you family warm, especially if you don’t have a generator. Small space heaters are an excellent option to get you through the storm.
Blankets and Socks
Extra blankets (emergency ones are great to stockpile) will help keep you warm if you are without power, and socks, well let’s just face it everyone needs clean, dry socks.
Bug Out Bags
In many flood scenarios, you have to leave your home. Make sure you have bug out bags for everyone in your family and that you can leave quickly at a moment’s notice.
Floods are no joke. They not only damage homes and property, they can even take people’s lives, as we’ve learned, again, with the Texas floods. Make sure you have the proper plans in place to safely weather a flood, or any storm, that comes your way.