The recent spate of hurricanes hitting Houston, the Western part of the Florida peninsula and Puerto Rico have given many of us an opportunity to rethink our prepping plans.
That’s as it should be, as we should always be looking to improve, and one of the best tools we have for that is to analyze the disasters that happen, looking for lessons to be learned.
I’ve lived through hurricanes before, as my home is in a hurricane zone, but never as severe as these three have been. More than anything, the big difference that I noticed from these three hurricanes, was the amount of flooding they caused. That made the ones I lived through seem rather minor indeed.
What these hurricanes made me rethink was, not surprisingly, my stockpile. But not what’s in it, rather how protected is it from damage.
The problem with dealing with hurricanes, tropical storms, or other storm systems that bring a lot of rain in a little time is that you’re not just dealing with the storms. Though that’s certainly bad enough, sometimes it’s what comes after that does more damage than the actual storm.
What am I talking about? Flooding. I live in a hurricane zone, and we have a saying: hide from the winds, but run from the water. That’s because there usually very few lives lost due to damage from the high winds; most lives are lost to flooding.
On top of that, much of the extensive damage is also caused by flooding. How do you deal with the remains?
The recent arrival of Hurricane Harvey is somewhat personal for me. Early Friday morning, before it made landfall, radar course projections showed it heading right for my home. Since I only live 90 miles inland, we would have been hit hard by the 130 plus mile-per-hour winds and torrential rainfall.
But Harvey made a course change just before landfall and passed north of our home, leaving us safe.
But that doesn’t mean that Harvey was safe by any means.
Unless you live in Texas, you may not have noticed that San Antonio, the state’s second largest city, flooded once again last week. While any flood is an aberration, the city of San Antonio is known for them.
While large parts of the state are known for being arid, the farther east you go, the more rainfall there is. San Antonio is kind of in the middle, but still receives more than its fair share of flooding.
This latest flood ends a period of drought that has plagued central and southern Texas all year long. Its sudden, unexpected arrival reminds us all of the high danger from flooding that large parts of the nation regularly face.
Flash floods can occur at any time, even when there is not any rainfall, all the way to the visible horizon.