It’s that time of year again! The snow has all but gone, the sun brings warmer temperatures, and the sky brings lots and lots of rain. That’s right folks, it’s spring flooding season!
The best way to mitigate against flooding is strategic relocation. Moving to higher ground, or at least some place that has a lower flooding potential is ideal, but not always practical. Preppers tend to gravitate to water sources, especially those that are raising livestock or have intensive gardens for food supplies. Add to that the outrageous pricing on homes in recent years, and many are simply not able to pick up and move to a new home. If you find yourself in a potential flooding situation, there are a few things you can do to protect yourselves, your family, and your property.
A properly installed sump system will direct any water collecting under your basement floor as well as any water collecting outside your foundation into a pit, where an electric pump will send it outside and away from your home. Many preppers will install a 12 volt DC pump, allowing for operation from a deep cycle battery. Others will opt for a 110 volt AC pump and a backup generator. Battery operated pumps will have a limited operation time, depending on the capacity of the battery. On the other hand, a mains pump that has lost power will require manual intervention to set up and run a generator, which will also need refueling from time to time. As usual, there is no perfect solution, and one must decide for themselves which option is best for you.
Sump systems work well for minor water infiltration, but spring often brings much more devastating water volumes. If water gets into your home, pumping it out with a gas powered trash pump is about your only option. Obviously, the pump is run OUTSIDE the home and an intake hose sucks up the water for the pump to send it away from the house. Pumps like this can be found on Amazon, or at your local reno center. Don’t wait for the water level to rise before investing in one as they sell out quickly when flood season arrives. Trash pumps can also be found at farm or estate auctions as well as flea markets and garage sales. While this can save you some money, the buyer beware rule applies.
I see a lot of preppers offering the advice of getting sandbags or absorbent bags to surround your home with if flooding occurs. While that sounds like a great idea, I’ve always considered it impractical for a property of any real size. Personally, there is no way I could imagine filling and stacking the thousands of bags it would take to protect even a modest 20 000 square foot property. Using the absorbent bags available online would also be cost prohibitive.
Flood berms are a permanent solution that are easily implemented. Piling dirt into a berm a few feet wide and at the height needed can offer great protection. In addition, the slope of the berm increases the plantable surface area. They make a great place to install plants to attract pollinators, or even herbs for harvesting. Dump truck loads of fill earth are cheap, and can often be had for free from contractors looking for places to get rid of excavated dirt. While this idea may not be helpful right now when the threat of flooding is upon us, it would make for a great summertime project.
If you are being threatened by flood waters right now or may be in the next week or so, now would be the time to check your pumps, generators, gas supply, etc. Be ready to bug out at a moment’s notice and avoid wading through flooded streets.