A levee failure is when a dike is breached due to natural or intentional factors. It can be because of failure in foundation, damage, and erosion, and overtopping.
Levee Failure: Surviving The Breach And Rebuilding Life
Unsuspecting levee failure is oftentimes due to strong torrential rains that result to overtopping. But if you live in an area with dikes nearby, it is best to prepare for any potential dangers that lie ahead. The following are survival tips which might help you survive flooding in the event of a breach.
1. Be In The Know
Find out if there are any levees located within your area. Identify your location if you’re in the floodway, should a levee be breached. Make sure you listen to the local news on a regular basis for any official announcements from your local government.
2. Prepare a Bug-Out Bag
This bug out bag should contain items useful in the event of a flood like food and water supplies, a flashlight, a two-way radio, all-weather radio, water filter, fire-starter kit, extra clothing and footwear. This should also contain important documents, medical history, and prescription medicines if need be. Ensure it is placed in a spot where it’s within reach in case of a quick getaway.
3. Expect The Worst
Should there be any heavy rainfall or a storm, you must anticipate a levee failure. You can only hope for the best. Expecting the worst helps keep your guard up. Don't forget to formulate an emergency plan in case you need to evacuate.
4. Protect Your Home
The last thing you would want to do is leave your home. Check with the Federal Emergency Management Agency to help you identify the specific risk your home may be in should it be flooded. They can also help you identify the possible height of floodwaters. If it’s manageable, you can protect it with a few of the following tips:
- Seal all cracks in your foundation and exterior walls including little openings.
- Sandbag the surrounding of your house (you can buy them at your city public works department, garden supply store, home improvement, and local hardware stores).
- Cover vents, window wells and other lower portions where water can come in with plywood, plastic sheeting, or duct tape.
- Place your possessions in higher places or on the second floor if you have one.
5. Execute Your Emergency Plan
Have you and your family come up with important items and load them into your vehicle. Proceed to pre-determined safe possible exit routes away from the flood. Avoid low-lying areas, ditches, canyons, and streams. These areas are prone to flash floods even if it’s away from the main flow of the water.
If the announcement is made for you to evacuate, don’t hesitate and leave as soon as possible. If it’s not possible to evacuate due to high water levels and raging waters, move immediately to the highest part of your house.
7. Avoid Raging Waters
Never attempt to walk or drive through deep moving waters, even if you’re using a pickup or an SUV. A vehicle can be swept away in two feet of raging waters while you can be swept off your feet in 6 inches of moving water. There’s also a risk where the ground may erode creating a deep hole. Your vehicle should also contain a survival kit.
8. Buy Flood Insurance
If you’re in a zone prone to floods, Federal law states you should have your home insured. You can claim up to $100,000 for your belongings and up to $250,000 for your home. This eases up on the expenses and financial stress after the flood.
Want to know more? Watch this video by SacramentoDistrict about how levees fail and how it's fixed:
It may sound like a broken record, but everyone who has experienced flooding in even once in their lives knows the biggest problem is the lack of preparation. You can coordinate with your local emergency response units to know their prevention and evacuation plans. Don’t hesitate and act now!
Do you have more levee failure survival tips I missed out on? Let us know in the comments below!
Here is Survival Life’s comprehensive checklist for a 72-hour survival kit you should know about!
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