A common theme that appears regularly when dealing with flooding issues is that of “When / how can the government fix my problem?” and “No one told me I would be flooded when I bought this house”. While those are items that we attempt to address in our community, some activities are best-managed by the private individual, such as flood preparedness. It is not a question of “if” this area floods again, but “when” will there be flooding.
No. 1 is buy flood insurance
I have talked about this plenty in previous posts, so I will not give all the details again. But I had a person on the phone recently tell me that it was not fair she had to purchase flood insurance. She felt that the government should give her flood insurance for free or fix her flooding problem. I let her know that the federal government already subsidized the cost of that insurance and that we were working to improve things in her area. Unfortunately, her house is next to a creek…there are zero reasonably priced options (it would be cheapest to demolish the house) to completely keep it from flooding where she lives. For the foreseeable future, she will continue to experience flooding.
Long story short: we cannot fix every problem (we will try our best), but there is not enough money to solve every flooding problem. People need flood insurance for those crazy downpours that cause damage. Remember that standard homeowners insurance does not typically include flooding.
No. 2 is make a family plan
Since we know that flooding happens, we work hard to alert people that storms and flooding are occurring. In Jeffersonville and Clarksville, we use the CodeRed warning system, which calls and texts people about warnings issued by the National Weather Service (go sign up…it’s free!). Obviously, watching the news or having a smart phone weather app can also provide those notifications. Watch for these notices:
- Flood / Flash Flood Watch: Flooding or flash flooding is possible in your area;
- Flood / Flash Flood Warning: Flooding or flash flooding is happening. Evacuate and head to higher ground.
If you live in an area that is prone to flooding and may cut off your exit / entry to your neighborhood, you need to develop a plan of action (in advance) to keep you and your family safe. Decide when you will leave, where you will go (higher ground), and make a family communications plan.
No. 3 is take some supplies
Hitting the road and leaving behind your home is not a great feeling. Since you are evacuating, you should take some stuff with you. The Red Cross has a solid “Flood Safety Checklist” that has some items listed for consideration. Have these items ready to roll with you:
- Water, food (non-perishable);
- Games for kids;
- Pet supplies and more.
The list can go forever. If you want to build yourself a bug out bag or 72 hour pack for emergencies, just search Google. Do not get too intense with it…gather some useful extra items from around your house (like clothing) and put them in a bag. Know where the bag(s) are located and make sure your family knows to grab them during an evacuation.
The flood finale
While we will do what we can to protect against flooding and provide notification that heavy rainfall is causing a potential dangerous situation, it is up to the private individual to ensure their own safety of themselves and their family. In the upcoming posts, we will explore what home owners can do when the water is rising.