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The Deadliest Type Of Emergency and How Everyone Should Prepare

August 05, 2021 7 min read

flooding preparedness

71% of the world is covered in water and it’s trying to kill you.

Don’t believe me?

Flooding is the deadliest natural emergency to threaten humankind. It comes from our oceans, and our sky.

Flash floods occur without warning and can create mudslides with enough force to level a city and bury it under a metric ton of earth and debris.

But why don’t we take flooding more seriously these days? It literally threatens people everywhere in the world, except for people living in the arctic maybe.

I’m not sure if we can classify avalanches as a form of flooding despite it being frozen water, but we’ll have a debate about that another time.

Nevertheless, it is the leading cause that is responsible for the majority of natural-emergency-related fatalities every year.

So what do we do to prepare for a flood?

What should we do instead?

And what should we never do when a flood occurs?

If there is a way to defend ourselves against the 71% of nature that wants to kill us, then let’s figure it out today.

Dipping Our Toes Into Floods

flooded house

The budget for emergency prevention and relief for floods is staggering in comparison to wildfires and earthquakes.

Every year, floods are responsible for causing hundreds of billions of dollars in damages and repairs, on par with being nearly double or triple the annual cost spent on damages compared to its destructive counterparts.

Floods and mudslides are also responsible for three-quarters of all fatalities caused by natural disasters every year.

With such a fierce and deadly track record, What do we do now to protect ourselves, and why is it not working?

The easy answer is... It’s an unstoppable force that can literally move mountains. Where a flood occurs is just as important as what causes a flood.

When a city is under the threat of a flood warning, the factor of location plays a vital role in the imposed destruction.

Where Do Floods Occur?

flooded road

Near the ocean and nowhere else?

Wrong.

Floods occur everywhere.

From the sea, all the way to the driest of deserts, believe it or not.

While oceans bear the closer mental connection to the threat of flooding because of the apparent amount of visible water, deserts experience torrential downpours that turn the land into quicksand and downed the unprepared.

Flash floods in topographical locations break down the large land structures over time and quickly create catastrophic mudslides that can bury cities in minutes flat.

Residential areas ill-equipped to handle large amounts of rainfall find themselves to be so water damaged that the entire structure must be ripped out and rebuilt less the risk of black mold and foundational collapse.

Floods literally threaten life all around the world, not just those living near the coastline.

What Causes a Flood?

town flooded

Water, obviously. Lots of it.

All flooding into one location at the same time.

But, why does the water have a massive hangout in one little area at the same time?

Torrential weather patterns sending heavy precipitation to an area collectively drowned out an area with unwieldy amounts of water rapidly.

The water pools in low areas before rising from underground, bringing sewage and bacterias along with it.

When it strikes a mountainside, it rushes down in a cascade of liquid destruction, carrying down whatever is in its path. I.e. trees, boulders, wildlife critters, sections of the earth, etc.

Gale force winds from typhoons and hurricanes carry the water from the ocean, into the sky, across the shore, and throw it down with the assistance of 95 mph winds.

That water wrecks havoc across every defenseless city in its path. Shifting wind patterns in the upper atmosphere make flooding an unpredictable force of nature.

What can initially be forecast to be a series of scattered showers can just as easily be combined into one massive storm front that poses severe danger and risk to the people living under the cloud that decides to unload the combined Cumulous Nimbi.

How Long do Floods Last?

Floods are as unpredictable as they are dangerous. Some floods last for hours, and some floods last for days.

Honestly, the only truthful answer is… floods last as long as they want to.

Just as well, once the storm is over does not mean the flood will go away with it.

Standing water and mudslides cause extensive amounts of cleanup that sometimes require months of effort to remove.

Damages and repairs can be costly and need prolonged periods of time to recover.

In certain events, decades have passed, and the cities have still not fully recovered due to the sheer amount of destruction caused by the flood.

How Do We Prepare For A Flood?

There will be some necessary steps you can take during, before, and after a flood moves through your area.

Depending on the severity of the flood heading your way and the window of time you have allotted to work with, you can take action to avoid losing the most when the rain comes.

Preparing for the Flood to Come

how to prepare for a flood

The first rule to flood club is… You don’t stay in the flood.

The smallest of rainstorms can actually turn out to have the most devastating impact in the flash of an eye.

You can prepare yourself and defend your property from the flood before it hits, but you should also leave the area before the flood ever gets close.

Get out of there and avoid being in the situation altogether.

If your home will be destroyed from the flood, there is no reason to put yourself in the middle of the danger and watch it happen first-hand while you potentially drowned.

It will either all still be there when you get back, or it won’t be.

Get yourself to safety instead.

Don’t be the crazy guy who stands on the beach and shoots at the storm clouds with a Glock and Mossburg.

It’s not going to scare it off (if you don’t believe that has happened, look it up).

Something You Should Never Do: DO NOT FAIL TO PREPARE

flooding in a town

Those who fail to prepare are only preparing to fail.

By not taking any precautionary measures to prepare yourself for the storm, you are guaranteeing yourself to receive to the worst-case scenario.

First, make sure you document everything you own that is at risk of damage with pictures or video evidence of its existence.

It is much easier to deal with the insurance company when you have proof of your ruined possessions in your home before they are destroyed.

Stock up on clean water and survival food stored in watertight containers to prevent starvation or dehydration in the worst-case scenarios.

Power is often lost for long periods of time, and no one wants to fight for clean water or food after an emergency.

Don’t believe that you can travel through a flood on foot safely.

It only takes 6 inches of water to sweep you off your feet, and 12 inches to move a car.

Most flash flood storms hail a rainfall of 8 inches and more.

Make sure you get to high ground fast before the rain gets out of hand.

Those who stick around in the area, waiting for the worst/believing they can bear through the storm, are typically the ones who need to be rescued or suffer the most significant losses.

Don’t be one of those people.

There is no reason to stay in the area if you don’t need to.

Quick Guide To Preparing For a Flood

  1. Boarding Windows: Sheets of plywood are faceted to buildings to protect windows from being smashed in from the flying debris, or caving in if water levels rise high enough. Once the unprotected window is busted in, all the water outside will get nice and cozy inside. Soaking into the carpeting, the walls, the furniture… everything.
  2. Laying Sandbags: Large quantities of sand are filled into large plastic or water-tight canvas bags. These sandbags are then placed in front of doorways and other openings to act as a barrier. The sandbags form a tight seal around the area to reduce or prevent the floodwater from damaging the property when adequately placed. In addition, it diverts the force of the heaviest flowing water around the opening and absorbs the impact from any floating debris from battering the property.
  3. Seal Cracks and Small Openings: Water-resistant adhesives and coverings are applied to small exterior locations around houses and buildings to prevent the rising water levels from entering through ventilation pipes and other utility openings. This helps reduce standing water in hidden areas and from leaks seeping into the walls to form black mold.
  4. Moving Objects to Higher Locations: Move any valuables to the second story of your house or attic is possible. Large appliances can be raised on top of wood or cement blocks to prevent water damage. If they can not be increased, then anchor them to the floor to prevent them from drifting away.
  5. Turn all electrical, furnace, gas, and water appliances if safe!
  6. Have a backup generator.
  7. Create a backup plan with friends and family!
  8. Have a 72-hour survival kit filled with essential supplies and emergency food.
  9. Maintain a constant eye on weather alerts for evacuation warnings. If you do not have the means of knowing when to evacuate.

Just look at the sky or follow your gut feeling. Those two things usually never lead you astray.

Stay calm and know when to say good buy to your things.

If you prep a bugout bag for when the flood starts coming, you won’t have to hesitate to pack what you think you need when the moment comes.

Click here to check out our guide to the ultimate bugout bag now!