Floods, Mudslides, & Storms: Preparing Before the Flood (Part 1/3)


photo credit: LA Times

Erosion is a result of water and wind weathering on soil. Water's effect on causing and furthering erosion can be manifested in many ways. Rain and water run-off can create grooves in the earth that may affect the land's ability to retain structure. The wind's influence can also increase the rate at which surface soil deteriorates and structurally breaks down. The wind's ability to lift small particles and project these across the landscape, or to uproot vegetation which provides a wind-barrier, can dramatically reduce the soil's ability to retain water through infiltration.

As the Western United States prepares for rainy season, there are crucial considerations and actions to be taken:

  • How safe is your house/dwelling in the event of a flood or mudslide?
  • How close are you to a creek-bed, ravine, river, or a wash?
  • Where are you located relative to a hillside: above, alongside, below?
  • Do existing or potential barriers impose an obstacle to evacuation or rescue efforts coming in?
  • Perform visual inspections & functional tests of your rain-gutters and drains. Also check nearby road drains and advise the local authority to request service if a drain requires it.
  • Plan Placement, Acquire, and Fill sandbags BEFORE the skies show any indication of rainstorms.
  • If your property has drainage channels, maintain them fully functional.
  • Provide adequate coverage over hills & slopes where possible.

High Priority Items to have in your possession include:

  • Your family's Evacuation Plan
  • Emergency Contact list complete with Names, DOBs, Emails, Mobile/Landline numbers, Home/School/Work Addresses, and other pertinent information for the residents of your Home
  • A fully functional Hand-held radio/flashlight with extra batteries which can receive notices of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) and/or the National Weather Service's announcements
  • Medication & Sensitive Records which would prove very difficult to replace if lost or damaged

These lists are in no way comprehensive but they do provide a solid foundation to the considerations to be taken, preparatory to a flood, mudslide, or storm.

-The Berkey Guy

One Response to Floods, Mudslides, & Storms: Preparing Before the Flood (Part 1/3)

  1. SLHaynes October 24, 2011 at 6:00 am #

    I’ve been flooded out twice in my recent lifetime. Not a fun thing to experience. Once was due to rain from 250 miles away overwhelming a river that ran a mile from my home. The other was because of a tropical depression that dropped 48 inches (four feet) of rain in two days. Prepare for floods even though you don’t think it can happen to you.

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