Floods occur quite frequently, and knowing how to prepare is crucial. You must have seen floods occur on different news channels and even movies. Although in films, one usually survives such calamities, the same does not always happen in real life. Every year floods take place in various regions of the world. Many individuals are injured in the process, and some even drown to death. As harmless as a flood may seem to you, it’s not. One always needs to stay wary of the signs of such disasters. Being prepared before-hand dramatically increases the chances of survival. In this article, you’ll come to know of a few tips and tricks that will help you overcome such a disaster.
Like other natural calamities like Earthquakes, Landslides, and Storms, floods occur almost every year, causing a lot of damage. Many economies shatter due to this issue, and people have to suffer huge losses other than human lives. Floods are mainly attributable to extreme rainstorms, Tsunami, and even hurricanes.
Even snow glaciers can cause floods. Due to climate change such as global warming, glaciers melt, causing water to fill up in lakes and oceans. And if this water reaches land, panic can be created. With flooded streets, people have to abandon their cars and even evacuate their homes.
Where Do Floods Mostly Occur?
Technically speaking, a flood is most likely to happen in areas that receive the most rainfall. However, this doesn’t mean that other regions are completely floodproof. As mentioned above, floods are not only attributable to rain; other factors can cause them.
Areas that receive constant rainfall are prone to get flooded eventually. For instance, Bangladesh, a country in South Africa, gets a significant amount of rain every year. Their monsoon season causes this. In fact, in 1989, Bangladesh suffered a substantial loss due to constant flooding. It resulted in a lot of damage to local businesses and even residential areas.
Almost two-thirds of the country experienced severe havoc. Nepal, which is also a country in southern Africa, receives a lot of rainfall every year. The deforestation of land in Nepal has led to severe soil erosion.
Soil decay eventually causes the silt content in rivers to increase significantly. Due to increased silt, rivers cannot store extra quantities of water. That, in turn, leads to excessive overflow of water, which then causes floods. Regardless, one should always remain cautious of the fact that floods can happen anywhere in the world.
What Are The Physical Factors That Cause Floods To Occur?
Other than excessive rainfall, floods can be attributable to other reasons as well. These reasons are not just limited to geographical factors; rather, they extend to physical elements. It means that even human-made creations can lead to floods. So the next time you experience a surge, remember that Mother Nature is not always the reason.
Given below are a few specific factors that cause floods to occur.
- Broken Dams: Dams that haven’t been appropriately built are likely to get cracks. These cracks often lead to a fractured structure, which can cause leakages and potentially lead to floods. Such incidents usually take place and can result in serious injuries.
- Rusted/ Damaged Pipes: Pipes that are within your own home can cause severe flooding. Every household at least once or twice faces leaked, broken or corroded pipes. Often residents are not aware of these leakages which are present within their home. Slowly one starts to realize the presence of these leakages after witnessing a few flooded floors.
Precautionary Measures That Will Help You Survive Floods.
Knowing how to fend for yourself during such emergencies is the real challenge. Surviving a flood can be made accessible, provided you know a few life-saving tips and tricks. If you’re not aware of basic surviving techniques, your chances of surviving such a disaster will be relatively low. Remember that floods are not as friendly as they look. You may think that you’ll be able to overcome such a tragedy easily.
However, it’s entirely the other way around. Floods have the capacity to drag you with them forcefully. That happens due to their powerful currents. Regardless, it would help if you did not fear them. With the help of a few precautionary steps given below, surviving a flood can be much more manageable.
- Know what kind of situation you’re dealing with: Before you can start to prepare your home for any wet eventualities, it’s essential to know if your local area is at high risk for floods, and what areas you can avoid when the rain starts to fall. Check your local councilors for flood plans and records and note any places near your house that could be more prone to floods, such as rivers or banks.
- Go through your insurance policy: If you think your home is at a lower level, check your insurance policy to make sure you’re covered for any flood-related eventualities. Plans can often take a month or so to change, so don’t leave it to the last minute if you’re concerned. It’s always better to be prepared before such a disaster strikes.
- Make sure you keep an emergency tool kit handy: emergency tool kits are a resourceful accessory when it comes to surviving any natural disaster. Especially when it comes to floods, these kits can come in handy. However, you still need to know what kind of things you should store in these kits. People tend to keep unnecessary things that prove to be a problem for them in the future. Check out my article on “Survival Tools Equipment here for the items you need.
- Prepare your children for such situations: If you have children, you should always prepare them for a disastrous situation like a flood. Preparing children will make them more independent and help them take care of themselves in such circumstances. Apart from training them, make sure they are aware of emergency rendezvous points. You’ll need to make sure that they, along with everyone else in your house, know about the spots you have designated for everyone to meet in an emergency.
Can Houses And Infrastructure Be Made Flood-Proof? If So, How?
It is, in fact, quite possible to make houses and infrastructure floodproof. However, you can’t wholly floodproof a place as there will always be leakages here and there. What you can do is reduce the amount of floodwater that enters your home. Such a structure can be built, provided the right tools and equipment are used.
Here are a few tips that can potentially lower the amount of water that enters your home.
- Elevate Your House: This is perhaps the most common and well-known way to make your home floodproof. Houses that are elevated with the help of pillars can avoid the possibility of getting flooded. This technique is suitable for people who live near rivers and receive rainfall frequently.
- Build a Floodwall: Flood walls are the second-best alternative to elevated homes. Flood walls act as a boundary around your home. This boundary can help in preventing water from entering your premises. It’s a safe and cost-effective way of protecting your family.
- Flood Proofing: As the name suggests, floodproofing is a way of making your house resist any water leaking from the outside. Floodproofing is pretty simple. Any cracks or openings that may have exposed your home can be closed with the help of a tight air sealant. That’s the primary purpose of ‘floodproofing.’
Life-Saving Supplies That Can Help Under Such Circumstances
During floods, it’s essential to carry a few supplies with you. Having supplies by your side not only helps you but helps the people you care about. Necessary supplies typically include batteries, a first aid kit, money, blankets, and enough food and water for as many people in your home. Few other stores can help you in such disastrous situations.
The use of these supplies will be mentioned below in detail and how you can use them during a flood.
- Non-Prescribed Medicines: Non-prescribed medicines can come in handy during a flood. These medicines don’t require any individual prescription, which is why they can be used when the need arises. Drugs like laxatives, aspirin, and diarrhea controlling medications can make you much more comfortable if you feel ill.
- Supplies for Aged People and Babies: Babies and older people require special kind of attention and care. The foods they can eat have to be age-specific; otherwise, it may damage their health. For babies, you should keep supplies like medication, diapers, and powdered milk, etc. On the other hand, you should keep blood pressure medicines, prescribed drugs, and dentures for the elderly.
- Food/ Supplies for Pets: If you’re going to leave your house for higher ground when a flood hits, don’t forget about any pets you own. If possible, carry your animals with you in portable pet carriers when you relocate to higher ground so they can be kept in your company and out of the water. Similarly, remember to keep a few supplies for them as well. Based on what kind of pet you have, you should keep foods specific to their needs. Like humans, pets also require medication, so it’s best to consult your local veterinarian for prescribed medication. You can get information on “What is a pet emergency kit: Dog or Cat” here.
So far, we have learned that floods can cause severe damage. They can destroy homes as well as entire towns. However, one can avoid such disasters provided precautionary steps are taken. A few tips have been mentioned above, which can significantly help you during these unpredictable situations. Given that you properly incorporate these protocols, your chances of surviving a flood will be much higher.
If you ever need a hand or have a question, feel free to leave them below and I will be more than happy to help you out.
All the best,