ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Prepare for Flash Floods

Updated on February 9, 2018
Amanda Gearing profile image

Amanda is a keen traveller from Australia. She writes about her adventures to provide other travellers with insider knowledge.

How to prepare yourself and your family for the risk of flash flooding.
How to prepare yourself and your family for the risk of flash flooding. | Source

Sudden onset

Flash flooding can have a very sudden onset.

If soils, creeks and rivers are full, a sudden intense storm can create fast, dangerous run-off flooding within 15 minutes of the storm beginning.

In the video below, people parked their cars in the ciy's CBD as they did each morning. A storm shortly after midday created fast, dangerous flow in the two creeks which meet in the CBD. Low-lying carparks beside the creeks were suddenly innundated and more than 800 cars were swept away. Several adults and children were swept away. A woman and her son were killed.

Chalk Drive, Toowoomba CBD. January 10, 2011

Communications

It is important to keep up with a developing emergency emergency. If electricity supplies are affected, you will need a battery-powered radio. Putting this in a waterproof plastic bag is useful, especially if you are outdoors.

If you need to leave your house, or are ordered to leave your house by authorities, you will need personal items – food, water, medication, mobile phone, radio, warm clothes and a waterproof list of emergency phone numbers. Pack these in a waterproof plastic carrybag. A waterproof torch with spare batteries in case you need to signal for help, eg if you are trapped on your roof or in a boat.

  • A ladder to enable people to quickly climb to the roof of your house can be a life-saving investment.
  • Lifejackets for all members of the family, especially babies, children and non-swimming adults.
  • A coil of rope
  • Bottled water and
  • Imperishable food in a waterproof container.

Useful equipment

Flash flooding kills about 5,000 people per year around the globe and are the most deadly type of natural disaster.

Being prepared ahead of time is critical because once extreme rainfall and swift run-off begin, you must be ready with emergency communications and be self-sufficient with your own supplies such as medications, water and food.The following equipment items may help you and your family to survive a flash flood:

Internet-linked mobile phone in a waterproof plastic bag to be able to contact people and/or emergency services and to monitor websites for the latest information.


Local knowledge of waterways

In a flash flood emergency, causeways, bridges and roads may become submerged. If travelling, especially at night, be alert for creeks and rivers that might have risen suddenly. Be prepared by learning about your local waterways:

• Know the location of the nearest gullies, creeks and rivers, and the minor, moderate and major flood heights at local gauges

• Know the Bureau of Meteorology district in which you are located

• Know how to monitor the Bureau of Meteorology website radar, rainfall and creek gauges online.

• Know weatherproof roads to reach higher ground

• Know the location of your nearest council evacuation point.

Flash flood  precautions and preparations to protect life
Flash flood precautions and preparations to protect life
Do not drive through fast-moving water.
Do not drive through fast-moving water. | Source

Precautions and preparations to protect life

Flash floods can cause a lot of property damage however the damage which can't be repaired is the loss of life. Do not risk your life (or anyone else's life) to try to save property. Ensure you and your family are as safe as possible. These tips may help:

• Identify high ground and the safest available route

• Work out and agree on ‘stay or go’ conditions appropriate for your family. e.g. non-swimmers, risk of isolation by road or creek, children/elderly/ill etc.

• Evacuate early as a precaution if you have children, babies, elderly, ill or infirm family members

• Prepare to evacuate to the roof if necessary (e.g. via a ladder)

• Keep your mobile phones charged

• Ensure vehicles have fuel

• Ensure family and neighbours are aware of potential risks

• Ensure you can leave the house via a window/s in an emergency to climb to the roof

• If evacuating, turn off power, water and gas

• Let others know where you are or where you intend to go

• Plan what you will do with your pets – they cannot be carried in rescue helicopters

• Avoid entering floodwaters. If you must, wear solid shoes and check depth and current with a stick.

Precautions to protect property

Once lives in your family are safe, consider the protection of property - your house, vehicles etc.

• Ensure local gullies and creeks are clear of debris

• Ensure important documents are stored well above the potential flood zone

• Ensure vehicles are stored well above the potential flood zone – do not attempt to move vehicles through floodwater

• Store all loose items, both outdoors and indoors

• Secure and sandbag doors

• Sandbag toilets to prevent sewage backflow into your house

• Tape windows to reduce the risk of them shattering

• Check your home and contents insurance policy – does it cover you for flooding and flash flooding? Does it include an allowance for clean-up and debris removal?

• Check your car insurance policy – are you covered for an agreed value?

For more information . . .

See my other hubs relating to flash flooding:

What to do during a flash flood emergency

and

Toowoomba and Lockyer Valley floods


Video footage

A flash flood disaster in January 2011 struck in south east Queensland in Australia. The following videos show some of the destruction in the rural district of Spring Bluff, the town of Murphys Creek, and the city of Toowoomba. Floodwaters flowing down the eastern side of the Great Dividing Range then began to converge on rural districts and towns in the Lockyer Valley.

The water from Toowoomba flowed to the west, striking Oakey and Dalby and moving down the Murray-Darling Catchment towards Adelaide.

The water flowing down the escarpment to the east struck with increasing force as small creeks converged striking Withcott, Postmans Ridge, Helidon, Carpendale and Grantham.

Over the following days, the floodwaters struck the larger cities of Ipswich and Brisbane.


Couple swept away in a car struggle across a railway bridge to safety.
Couple swept away in a car struggle across a railway bridge to safety. | Source

Online poll

Was this information useful?

See results

© 2013 Amanda Gearing

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 5 years ago from sunny Florida

      Great info to have...you think it can never happen to you. That scary feeling when your car is no longer a car but a boat, floating along...not funny.

      Sending Angels your way :) ps

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)