Monday, April 15, 2019

So, You Think You're Prepared: Week 4, Day 1

Week 4, Day 1
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Remember where we left off last week?

You had just been evacuated from your home and had to decide where you were going to go once the National Guard had gotten you to a safer place. 
Fast forward a few days and you’re finally allowed to go back to your home, what do you find?  
If your home is in a low lying place, your home has been flooded and is uninhabitable.  
If you live in an area where you have some elevation, the water rose to your door step and your yard is full of debris and anything and everything the dirty water brought with it.  
If you live in an area where your elevation is high, your home is safe.
What do you find?
Think carefully about this:  We saw pictures of a house that was built on stilts 18 feet off the ground.  The owners built it this way because of potential flooding from hurricanes.  You would think this house was safe, it was not!  The water rose 23 feet and the house flooded.
She looketh well to the ways of her household … Proverbs 31:27

Check out this related link … Preparing for a Possible Hurricane … Again!
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  1. Hi Patsy and that is a huge flood with 7 m of water round abouts :o .

    I know in the history of this area that the highest flood they have had here is 5 m of water and heard that our block was dry and it could go quite a bit higher before we flooded here as the house is also on 60 cm stumps. Our house is on the highest part of the block and it slopes back towards the creek and most of the rest of the town is lower than us so the water would drain to the lowest points first and spread out.

    If we had the standard 5 - 6 m flood here on the 6 m we would probably have water across our yard being 1.21 acres but it wouldn't be deep. First we would wait for the water to subside before dealing with it due to the snakes here. Once it had gone down to shallows we would get our gumboots on and leather gloves and wheel barrows and start picking up debris with garden forks and shovels in wheelbarrows and putting it in a central location ready to go to the tip a few blocks away in our town. For any fallen wood or trees or limbs we would wait for it to dry out with no water around and bring out our chainsaws and saw it all up and put it in the same pile or if it was suitable for firewood keep it for that after it is dried and rake any leaf matter into piles around the yard ready to run over it with the rideon or hand mower. Being so wet we would be wearing tropical strength mosquito repellant too and check ourselves for ticks each night when we came in from the cleanup.

    A good bath or shower would be in order to get the grime off us each day until the tasks were done. We would then check on our single neighbour to see if we could help with the cleanup there too.

    Then we would see our friendly policeman and see if anything could be done to help there to clear roads of fallen trees etc and any other help that may be needed too.

    Those poor people in that stilted house :o . There probably is a message in that is always build your home higher than the previous recorded highest flood level because you just don't know. I saw the floods in 1974 here in Australia and they were unprecedented in their height so I can see what can happen and how bad it can get.

    Sewingcreations15 (Lorna).

    1. Lorna, checking for ticks and using mosquito repellant are both very important. You don't want to get sick from a disease/bacteria each could be carrying due to all the dirty debris they would have come into contact with.

  2. With that much water, I am pretty sure the main part of the house would be okay but our basement would be flooded. The water and what it brings is another thing all together. My husband worked one year in Arizona and the boys and I went to visit him a couple weeks. When it rained, there was flash flooding. The flash flood went roaring by the house and in it's wake left all kinds of stuff from lawn furniture to small refrigerators. I can only imagine what that kind of flooding left in the yards. The first thing I would do is see how bad the damage is then sit down say a prayer we are safe, have a good cry and then start the long process of clean up and see what could be salvaged. Paula

    1. Paula, and that is what many in our area did.

  3. If the water were to rise 23 feet then we would have lots of water in out basement. Our oil tank and hot water heater are done there. My extra freezer is down there. It is elevated off of the floor but I don't know if that would be enough. Hubby's work benches and tools are down there as well as my long term food storage. Some of my food storage is in 5 gallon buckets so that would be OK. Everything else down there is stored in sealed totes so that should be OK. It would be a mess.

    Thankfully where I live, this has never happened. We have a pump because years ago we had a very bad winter with lots of ice after we first moved in. It then poured for 2 days so the rain couldn't absorb into the ground and we did get about an inch of water in the basement. We have since added new gutters and drains outside the house which has prevented this from happening again.

    I know people that had water almost up to their second floor when Sandy hit. I helped clean a friend's house out after and the water mark was at my shoulders. They were OK but the house and their belongings were not. They lived by the shore in a low area.

    1. Making Cents of It All, in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence, people who had never been flooded before and that didn't live in a flood plane were flooded. It was so sad. They thought they didn't have to worry about flooding but found out that they were wrong.

  4. Just a thought: I wonder about the safety of buckets and totes that are in water. It is not just water but now contaminated water. Touching the outside gunk on those containers could contaminate the stuff inside if opened or even a teeny bit shaped in. Water can get into totes unless they are made quite different from ones I have seen. It got into mine. And be careful of freezers and things plugged into electric. Electric and water are not a good mix at all! Make sure the power is off and check twice before entering any wet areas..or even walking on damp rugs. !! What if you were told all electric is down in your area then they fix it and you don't know that and go back into the wet areas! Unplug things once you know the electric is truly off. Check often to see if it is back on and don't use unless safe.
    To be truthful I am not sure about flooding in our area. Now I will check with county maps etc and see if any old homeowners know anything too. I do know about fires but little about flooding here. Thanks for all this information that has led to discussions and studying. :) Sarah

    1. Sarah, Everything that comes in contact with the contaminated water is at high risk … personally, I wouldn't take the chance. As for electricity and water, you are absolutely right, lots of homes had their electricity turned off by the power company until an inspection could be done. It was a mess on so many levels.

  5. I live in a small apt. building so my apt. on the 4th floor would be safe from flood waters. I Live next to a river but it runs through a park/conservation area that is left as a flood protection area (this section of the city was devastated by Hurricane Hazel in the 1950's and over 80 people died in a matter of hours when the river flooded (the memorial is just across the street from me). Now no houses can be built in that area - in fact much of the city's parkland is there to protect from flooding. I think there would be some damage on the basement level just from the volume of water that fell - sewer drains often can't cope. This may mean that we would need repairs to things like the electrical room and the boiler room and clean up in case of mood but that would be up to the owners.
    I would expect to find a bit of a mess in the fridge & it's small freezer section so that would be the first thing to clean up. I would then try to air things out as much as possible. If there was any damage (especially to items in my basement storage locker) I would contact my insurance company as I have good content coverage - including for water damage. If I couldn't stay in my apt. for a few days - or weeks - then I would go to a hotel - my renters coverage includes a good chunk of money for living expenses if I'm forced out of my unit. I upped this amount a few years ago after my sister and her family had to live in a hotel room for 2 months when there was a fire in the townhouse next to theirs and they had a lot of smoke damage. The adjoining wall had to be taken back to the studs and all the insulation ripped out and replaced so it took quite a bit of time. They thought they had a lot of coverage but discovered just how quickly living in a hotel and eating out can run through all of that!

    1. Margie, and sometimes the insurance has limits!


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