Why Floods Are The Deadliest Type of Emergency You Need to Be Ready For

August 02, 2021 13 min read

flooding prepardness

In this episode of the Practical Prepper Podcast, we break down the rationality as to why Floods are the deadliest of natural emergencies.

The Host of today’s episode, Schmitt, draws comparisons and differences in how we handle ourselves when placed in the hands of mother nature.

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How we prepare ourselves before tragedy strikes. And discusses exactly how underprepared we have been, time and time again, when facing the danger of floods. How can we improve our chances of surviving them either we bug out or bug in using your bug out bag essentials? How much food storage do I need before the tragedy? Which places have suffered the most and what can we learn from their loss to strengthen ourselves today?

What is the real cost of experiencing a flood? And what dangers go missed following even in the smallest of floods? Which natural emergency poses the deadliest threat to mankind? Does it help to store food with 25 year shelf life incase of emergency?

Of all of nature’s forces that cause devastation and destruction, floods are responsible for the overwhelming majority of fatalities every single year. They have the ability to occur without warning.

What begins as a simple rainstorm or a heavy surf coming to shore quickly elevates to rampant mudslides and catastrophic devastation. They are an unstoppable force that mankind has repeatedly failed to overcome unscathed.

For the past twenty-two years, floods have caused over a trillion dollars in damages worldwide and claimed countless lives. This force of nature has demonstrated its incredible power by moving mountains… literally.

When large amounts of water accumulate, homes are lost, cities become buried, and we are once again left helpless in the wake of nurture’s unpredictability.

Find out all this and more, on this episode of the Practical Prepper Podcast!

 

Transcription:

Hello everyone! Welcome back to another episode of the Practical Prepper Podcast! If this is your first time tuning into the channel, I’d like to say thank you! My name is Schmitt and I’ll be your host for today’s discussion. For those of you who are already familiar with the sound of my voice, I’d like to extend a special thank you to you. For helping this podcast grow and achieve new levels of success because of your support.

 

For today’s episode, we’ll be diving into a topic surrounding one of the deadliest and most powerful emergencies mother nature can threaten us with. And that threat is flooding. Unlike other natural emergencies that we face from the elements, once the flood begins, there is nothing we really can do to stop it. And that’s what possibly makes it the deadliest natural emergency that threatens people all over the world. Of course, it threatens some people more than others based on geographical location. But let’s just make a quick comparison in what we do to protect ourselves against flooding compared to other emergencies. For example, in extreme cases of wildfires, emergency services typically depend on sending thousands of firefighters to extinguish the flames. And, if we look at the wildfires in California last year over 12 thousand firefighters, along with additional aid from members of the national guard were sent in to try to extinguish the flames. In the worst-case general scenario, if they can’t extinguish it, they proactively work ahead of the fire in order to steer the direction of its burn path. This is done in their best attempt to keep it away from destroying cities and neighborhoods until they get to a point when able to extinguish it. We take preventative measures like controlled burns to reduce the rate of wildfires occurring or spreading further. Plus we have programs to educate the general public with golden advice from everyone’s favorite wildfire representative, Smokey the Bear. Only you can prevent forest fires, kids. Granted he was wrong, forest fires can occur naturally from lightning strikes or prolonged periods of drought, but who’s going to fight a talking bear on this one? 

 

If we shift our attention and break down how we protect ourselves against a different natural emergency. It’s something we have become so proficient against, that we have raised entire cities with towering skyscrapers despite the threat of turning them into the largest tower of Jenga ever. Even in the areas with the highest land rates of earthquake activity, we’ve learned how to construct reinforced geometrical architecture on top of floating foundations and shear walls to make our buildings nearly earthquake-proof! Obviously, you're not left with many options of protecting yourself when an earthquake does occur. Get out in the open, away from tall buildings, get under a table or other study covering if you are stuck inside and avoid the windows. So on and so forth.  

But flooding… Flooding is different. It doesn't take a colossal shifting of the tectonic plates to start raining, nor can you send firefighters in to put it out. It just happens. And what it starts, it doesn’t stop until it decides it’s good and ready to. And when you hear the word flooding, you probably think of hurricanes, giant waves, oceanic-related things, but a lot of people forget that flooding does not just pertain to people living in a coastline vicinity. Flash flooding happens everywhere and people underestimate the risks that follow heavy rains. I can personally recall three different occasions when I was caught off guard from a surprise flash flood and nearly dying because of it. And, fun fact, none of them occurred anywhere near the ocean. They all happened in the desert. The first time this happened I was climbing to the top of Red Rock just outside of Las Vegas. I was so happy to feel a nice cool rain start to come down at first. Rock climbing in a hundred-plus-degree heat, I wasn’t the slightest bit concerned with the fact that this rain just popped out of nowhere. I was young and dumb enough to not even consider the possibility of torrential rains leading to a flood. Luckily, one of my friends had been in a similar situation before and knew that we needed to get down quickly. Fortunately, by the time the rain was strong enough to completely sweep us off our feet, we were just close enough to a non-fatal drop height where we could break the line and scoot down the rest of the way. The next two times occurred in Utah, a flash flood turned the canyon trail at Mount Zion into a nearly fatal lazy river. and another time where the rain created a massive mudslide and carried my car a quarter-mile on a flat road and nearly sent me in my car right off the side of a cliff. I really thought I was going to die, that time.

 

It’s an unstoppable force. It tests our ability to survive, to defend ourselves against the forces of nature. Compared to what we do for fires and quakes, it’s crazy how our best preventative measures are boarding windows and laying down sandbags. Even when cities like Tampa or St. Petersburg take proactive measures by reengineering their sewer systems to reduce the impact of flooding when it occurs, the cities still spend days with a foot of water in the streets after a storm. And on that note flooding is much more than just a metric butt-ton of water. It creates landslides that destroy cities, it pulls up sewage and waste from underground and floods it into homes and businesses. The extreme levels of bacteria from everything everywhere cause rampant viral infections. Just recently, floods and mudslides in Japan decimated entire towns and wiped civilization away to a point where you could never even tell there was a city there. Europe is currently under a country-wide flood alert and is watching Germany be relentlessly pounded by flooding and storms, with a death count that continues to rise at a rate that is staggering. Third-world countries don’t even stand a chance when it happens and the only option they really have is to abandon everything.

 

The restoration process afterward takes months if not years depending on the location and the level of damage. Just look at New Orleans, Hurricaine Katrina rocked that city back in 2005, caused $125 billion dollars in damage took the lives of over 1,800 people. The damage was so catastrophic then even to this day... the 9th district is still a broken and destroyed ghost town. When a fire happens, it burns everything down to ash. There’s barely anything left afterwards. A small demolition team comes in to tear down whats left and a clean up crew sweeps the area, and then the rebuilding can begin. The  process of restoring a city after a flood, even when it’s a minor one, requires everything the water touches to be torn out, unburried, relocated, cleaned and sanitized to prevent mold and rot, and so much more needs to happen before the thought of planning to rebuild can occur. It takes a long time and it costs a lot of money to save an area after a flood.

For a small-scale example, the average cost for a homeowner to restore just a single room with water water damage ranges between 3-7 thousand dollars, if they need to remove that water first also cost another couple of thousand dollars added on top of that. That average is oriented on water damage caused from common things like leaky pipes, bad plumbing work, or small storms. So if it cost up to $10 grand to repair a single room in a house, you can see how quickly flood damage can rack up over $100 billion dollars in damages when it hits a city. But more important than the  cost of rebuilding a city is the cost of human lives. Last year, natural disasters were responsible for over 8,000 reported fatalities worldwide. To be specific, Hydrological emergencies, like flooding were responsible for the majority of these deaths. And they have been for the passed two decades. In fact, it’s only been getting worse as time goes on. Every year forward brings an elevation of exacerbation to storms and flooding emergencies. And there’s explanations are offered but people will believe what their going to believe. But in time, the damage and the danger may come to the point of being impossible to ignor or even deal with. Who knows. I can predict one thing though. A day will come when it costs to much to ignore anymore. 2020’s global average economic loss due to natural disasters alone, pandemic excluded from this statistic, amounted to the quivelancy of over 268 billion U.S dollars. 

 

And it’s impossible to properly predict the occurrence of these storms, these floods. It makes it incredibly difficult to prepare for yours elf for when these floods occur. But incredibly difficult is not the same as impossible. You don’t have to be left hungry after a flood. When an entire grocery store’s stock supply is picked over before-hand and what ever is left is ruined from disease ridden flood water, there are dependable options to fall back on so you don’t go hungry. Knowing all of you out there, the strong willed, hardened survivalist that you are, you’re already admirable professionals in this journey of survival preperation. So I know you’re stocked be ready to weather any storm mother nature throws your way. But if you’re new to this podcast, or you’re still taking your first steps on the path to preparation, I would like to recommend the sponsor for today’s episode. Nearly everyone in the survivalist community knows about the top-quality long ter m survival meals from Valley Food Storage these days. Valley Food Storage has been catapulted to the forefront people’s minds when it comes to talking about Survival Food because word gets around and their meals talk for themselves. Valley Food Storage is the company that earned my approval and always leaves me satisfied. They’re my go to recommendation for anyone when they are looking to have the best survival food to rely on, and for listeners of this podcast Valley Food is offering an exclusive discount code that will knock 25% off the price of your entire order. And a discount of 25% couldn’t have come at a better time. I don’t know if you’ve heard the news but by popular demand Valley Food Storage just announced the return of their freeze-dried meat bucket! It’s the perfect bucket for all of you survivalist meat lovers because it’s packed with chicken and beef and sausages to give your survival food stockpile that very important and much needed protein supply. Get your freeze dried meat bucket today and for you to know the difference between freeze dried and dehydrated. Use your 25% discount code at checkout when you go to valleyfoodstorage.com/practicleprepper. Once again, that’s 25% off the price of your entire order when you unlock your code at valleyfoodstorage.com/practicleprepper. I ordered two before recording this episode, and I want to get a petition to get the old name for the bucket back. The Carnivor Bucket. Yeah, I can see why they changed it but it just sounds cool. And it comes sealed in a nice and tight water resistant bucket, that’ll keep your freez-dried meats dry in their air tight bags if you get hit with a flood out of nowhere.

 

With no flooding event ever being the same, and with the severity of storms growing over time, the national weather service and emergency responders are slowly losing the ability to forecast the impact of a flood with overall accuracy. It’s scary to think how easily we can be blindsided by nature sometimes. Even with all of our doppler technology and seismographs that enable us to get ahead of whatever is coming at us, s  ometimes the origin of a flood simply occurs out of nowhere. There have been times when no identifiable weather patterns indicated that a city was about to be washed off the map before it happened, and people had no time to prepare for the tragedy that was about to happen. Luckily we’ve been able to identify the majority of storms before had but underestimate the severity of the flooding that ensues. And sometimes nature pulls all the stops when it comes to causing a catastrophe. A prime example of people getting destroyed from every which un foreseeable way just occurred a few years ago. The Southwest region of Japan was hammered with cascade of devastation in the summer of 2018. They experienced a 10-day successive rainfall of record-breaking toirrential downpour that was shifting wind patterns of Typhoon prapiroon of the south eastern coast line. This record breaking tourential downpour concurred with the recent floods caused by a category-3 earthquake in the Kensai region. Over 54,000 defence forces and emergency service members were tasked with saving entire cities and villages full of people who were trapped or buried in the destruction. 8 regions, with incredibly high population densities, were engulfed in 16 to 20 feet of earth and water after being hit with an unprecedented level of mudslides from the flash flooding. People were left abandoning their homes as their only option for long periods of time. Those who didn’t have reserves of food and water to fall back on relying on the struggling and dwindling supply of emergency donations. And despite having water all around them, they face a water shortage because of the disease-infested flood water and extreme temperatures whipped out the electrical grid and compromised the region’s water sanitati   on.

 

A flood doesn’t hit an area once and moves on, the residual impact is felt long after the devastation. If you are someone who has lived through the nightmare of one of the deadly natural emergencies, then you have sympathy. I’m grateful and fortunate enough to say that my minor experiences with flooding never ended in great tragedy, but I know people out there who have family who’ve lost everything. I’ve grieved with friends because they’ve lost family members who didn’t see the need to evacuate because the storm wasn’t supposed to hit anywhere near them. But, in reality, I’m begging you. If you receive warnings like that, please head them. Because all it takes to shift a catastrophic flood from destroying Town B instead of the predicted Town A is a simple change in wind direction. Something as small as a mesoscale change in atmospheric pressure and send gusts of wind miles away to alter the predicted trajectory of a storm, of a flash flood, and that alters the trajectory of people’s anticipation of danger. Leaving them unprepared and vulnerable to the worst.

 

But there is some good news. Since we as human beings have the uncanny ability to use our brains to find new ways of keeping us alive, we’ve engineered some pretty nifty means to reduce or control the impact of floods when they do occur. Some of the methods might be present around you, you may see them every day and possibly never even knew the benefits of why they were there. If you’ve ever been traveling along a hillside and have noticed a gradual incline of sections cut into it or concrete walls built with what appear to be narrow little steps leading to the top, its to reduce the flow and speed of water as it travels downhill. I’m not sure if it’s pronounced ter-racing or terra-cing the hillside, I’ve heard it pronounced both ways while doing research and it seems to be a toma-to to-mato situation. We’ve taken a page out of the history books and plant vegetation with high water absorption properties along those terraces as well as in areas that are at risk if a river flooded or a damn broke. We’ve designed versatile floodways to adapt to rising waters and prevent an area from being submerged, all while generating electricity from the rapid currents. Mill ponds and water diversion channels divert floodwater and save lives. After discovering our faults in the past, emergency relief programs have been restructured from the ground up to eliminate the previous blanket flaws that hindered emergency assistance after a natural e mergency. By breaking the relief plans down to work more concisely for individual districts, all while still working synonymously with the surrounding county’s responders, it enables those people to act immediately and save people more efficiently. After it took three days to get clean water to the people sheltering inside the Superdome, it turned out that a lot of miscommunication and confusion in the bureaucracy sector had a lot of people confused as to who was responsible for the district they were supposed to already be helping after Katrina. Because of mistakes like that, is why we have clear, and concise plans of action today. So we don’t repeat the mistakes of the past, or at least not try to. 

 

Thank you, everyone for tuning into this episode of the practical prepper podcast! You guys are helping this channel grow faster than we ever could have anticipated and we all appreciate you for your support. Thanks again to valley food storage for sponsoring today’s episode and remember they are offering a 25% off discount code for you listeners when you go to valleyfoodstorage.com/practicleprepper, once again that’s valleyfoodstorage.com/practicleprepper. To unlock the code that take 25% of the price of your order, save yourself some money on your next order. Especially if you get the meat bucket they start shipping those out at the start of august. I’m excited. My name is schmitt! And I’ve been your host for today. Thank you all once again for listening and I’   ll catch you in the next episode. As always, be prepared and take care!