Tag Archive - flood

Water Lessons

Flooded house in Mtwapaphoto © 2007 Villager_87 | more info (via: Wylio)
“‘Water is patient, Adelaide, water just waits. It wears down the clifftops, the mountains, the whole of the world. Water always wins!’ says the Doctor in “The Waters of Mars” episode of Dr. Who. As it begins to rain again in Evansville, I think of this and our battle against flood water.

Though we cannot stop water, we can divert it. We can try to minimize the damage to homes and buildings and pray for sunshine so the water can recede.  As we learn from water, we can gain tactical advantages over it. Lessons I’ve learned the past week.

  1. Start Right. If you begin to build a sandbag wall without learning how to do it right or planning it, you will probably fail. Plastic sheeting needs to be strategically placed because water seeps through sand. Your wall needs to be constructed so it will not collapse. Some recommend a pyramid style with as many rows at the base as you have rows high. Sandbags have to be filled correctly. If you just start throwing down a sandbag wall without this planning, it will either fail, or you will work 10 times harder trying to fix your mistake than if you had done it right the first time.
  2. Accept the Help You Get. Unless you absolutely know someone is physically or mentally incapable of helping with any part of a sandbagging operation, accept their help. One lady called me in an emergency this week to find sandbaggers for someone. I put out the call. One lady who called was turned down because she didn’t sound “strong enough” on the phone to manage sandbags. The lady who was turned down, a former Air Force veteran, then took her 4 youngest children to another location where they worked for an entire day. She worked out a system for her own family where she held the bags and directed her sons as they filled and lifted them. If someone offers you a flood relief meal of sandwiches, don’t refuse and hold out for a donation of hot food. Those you alienate today could well be people who would help you tomorrow if you thank them and treat them right.
  3. Care for Yourself. Stay hydrated – get plenty of water bottles for those you help and who help you. Then drink the water, as in the bottles, not the flood. Take that 5-10 minutes to take care of yourself in a crisis to pace yourself for the long haul. If it’s sunny, get sunscreen. Take especially good care of your feet.

Some day, the rain will stop. Instead of thinking how we can beat the water – we never will – we can figure out how to divert it and outwait it until the flooding recedes.

Then we can take the lessons we’ve learned and apply them to the rest of our lives.

Quickstart to Disaster Readiness

Life or death issues are sometimes made during disasters. The more you know and the better prepared you are, the smarter decisions you will make.  Different disasters require different knowledge sets.

Thanks to Greg Waite of Evansville’s American Red Cross for providing info for this blog. Thanks also to Dwayne Caldwell of the Vanderburgh County Health Department, who gave a survival workshop for Vanderburgh 4-H members, when I first learned of chemical threats and how to react.

Disaster Kits: have a 3 day food/disaster supply you can grab and go and have a 2-week supply if you stay in place.

  • Red Cross – How to Build a Disaster Kit
  • Ready.gov – Disaster Kit Checklist
  • Note on lists items besides food & water – include cash and prescription copies.

Disaster Plans:

Stay Informed:

  • Keep a weather radio good to go.
  • If you live in Vanderburgh County, Indiana, know your sirens. The Friday noon siren is the tone for severe weather. If you hear an undulating siren instead, going up and down, that is an alert for a chemical/biological disaster. Know the difference and how to respond. The responses for severe storms or chemical threats are in many ways opposite. If you choose the wrong response, the result could be fatal. If you live in another area, ask them how they broadcast chemical alerts.
  • Follow #Tristatewx on Twitter.

See specific disaster preparedness links below:

Evansville Red Cross site download links:

Vanderburgh County Health Department Emergency Links:

Ready.Gov Links: (be sure to read the chemical threat and shelter in place sheets):

  • Biological Threat
  • Chemical Threat
  • Shelter in Place during a Chemical Threat
  • Winter Storms and Extreme Cold

The good news is we have information on how to respond to different scenarios. Knowledge is power.

When you prepare and plan, it’s easier to respond appropriately.

From the Diary of Noah's Wife

Hello God?

You were talking to Noah this afternoon.  Well, this is Noah’s wife, and now I want to talk to you.

You told him to build a boat?  Don’t you know that man can’t catch a fish to save his life?

Don’t you know our plans for our farm? We’re growing it so it can support not only us but each of our son’s families as well.  Just getting the garden in and harvested, and taking care of the animals is a full time job.

I don’t even know the last time we had time to sit down.  Sometimes we’re so busy building the homestead we barely have time to have family time alone together.

Don’t you know how mean our neighbors are? What are they going to say when he starts building a boat? The closest water in walking distance is a creek, and we don’t need a boat to cross it.

And he says you want a big boat? With animals? Just where are those animals going to come from? He says the boys are going to help him build that boat too?

I don’t get it. Build a boat, you say. If he and the boys are building the boat, who will take care of the animals we do have – not just those you say we’re going to get?

When I asked him questions, he told me I needed a little faith.

If you didn’t tell him to build that boat and he’s gone crazy, would you stop him now before he turns our world upside down? Maybe give ME a hint so I know if it’s real or not?

If you did tell him to build that boat, would you tell me what to do and how to handle this?

Pitch? You said get some pitch? I’m not sure how that can help, but I’ll try.

Lord, if you called him to build a boat, show him what to do when he makes a leap of faith.

And if he makes that leap of faith, would you show me how to handle it so I can make a leap of trust?

Thanks for listening, God. After dinner, I’ll see if I can find something big to mix some pitch. Maybe that would be a good olive branch after I spouted off when he told me about the boat.