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How To Survive A Flood
As promised, today we’re going to cover flood survival. This is the most frequent disaster in the US, so knowing the right techniques to anticipate and survive a flood is absolutely mandatory.
Now you may be thinking: “It’s the most frequent disaster in the US, surely I know how to protect myself from a flood!”, but I’ll let the facts speak for themselves: every single year, floods kill more than 100 people and cause more than $4 BILLION in damages (according to the Red Cross).
If people were really prepared the right way for this common natural disaster… do you think there would be so many losses (lives and valuables)? The problem is people live under the impression they know what to do in case of a flood. After all, the country is filled with those ludicrous leaflets that show you what you need to do when you hear the flood warning. My personal favorite: leaflets that look like a comic strip, to make it more “appealing”.
Let’s be serious, that’s all BS. The same outdated info on a tiny piece of paper. That’s not gonna save your family when a flood hits your town… So let’s get to “the real deal” and list some techniques you can actually use:
#1: Estimate Damages
According to Abhishek Agarwal, the survival expert,this is the first step you should take in planning your survival.
It shouldn’t take you more than an hour, so you can do it today, if you’ve got the time. Just imagine the worst case scenario: a major flood hit your town. Your house is under continuous attack by raging waters. What are its soft spots? List the places where water is likely to infiltrate inside. Write down what could happen when water gets into you house (you could get electrocuted, your floor might get swollen, you could lose your electronic devices, you may have pets trapped inside the house etc.).
Then think about the outside of your house. What happens if the tree in your backyard falls on your roof? What becomes of your garden if it gets soaked in water for a couple of weeks? Brainstorming with your family is the best way to cover as many things as possible.
Then, it’s time for financial assessment. Write down how much you’d have to pay if the worst case scenario actually came true. Then calculate how much it would cost you to prevent each problem. If it’s cheaper to prevent them, then start investing, little by little. Take your time and cover everything one by one.
#2: Be annoyingly curious
This means you should always keep a close watch on flood information, whether it’s on the Internet or your local planning agency. Actually, it’s best if you do your research both ways: search the net for the flood “calendar”, listen to the radio as often as you can and be the first to hear the flood warning… and go annoy the hell out of your local planning agency workers. Ask them as many questions as possible. You may not be their favorite guy there, buy, hey, better safe than sorry.
#3: Involve your community
A collective effort is generally more successful than an individual one. To make a stronger survival plan, you’ve got two options:
– If your community has an official survival plan in case of floods, make sure your strategies are aligned with it. Swimming against the stream is not exactly the best decision in this case, so ask your local agency all about the survival plan and take it into consideration when you start planning yours.
– If your community doesn’t have a survival plan in case of floods, make one yourself and share it with as many people as possible. When a flood is about to hit your town, they’ll come to you for help and you can work together to fight the disaster. Remember never to underestimate the power of a community!
#4: Always keep a 72-hour bug-out bag at hand
At the first sign of warning, your can jump into your car and take your kids out of town until it’s over.
ATTENTION: You should never leave your house when the flood has already started or is about to start! You should only flee your home a day before due date.
#5: Protect important documents
This is a crucial measure, as documents are pretty hard to replace (and quite expensive, too). Make sure your documents are locked in a waterproof container, somewhere at hand. During the disaster, keep them as close to you as possible, even if you leave town to your safe haven.
However, if another person (may it be family, neighbor or complete stranger) is in danger and needs your total attention, forget about the documents. After all, they’re just fancy pieces of paper, right?
Next on “How to survive any disaster”: earthquakes. Stay safe!
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