CBS New’s headline today warned of more Ohio River flooding after extreme weather had already taken human lives in the Midwest. Areas in Houston, still recovering from flooding 6 months ago, are now watching their rivers as poorly developed neighborhoods recognize their increased risk of future floods. Vulnerable people are looking for aid wherever they can find it.
In a world where states are requesting money to accommodate their water needs, what are your personal responsibilities for your personal property and well-being? Are you willing to wait for government money and help to cover your needs? Of course not. If we’ve learned anything in the past decade, we’ve learned that we can not and should not use the government as a safety net when it comes to covering our needs, especially our water/safety needs.
Federal money is going to cities with poorly planned housing in flood zones. The question is, where is the responsibility of the citizens? When making possibly the biggest financial decisions of their lives, did anyone look at maps? Did anyone consider proximities to rivers, canals, etc.? What about positioning inside neighborhoods? The higher you are, the less likely you’ll have to deal with devastating flooding. While states may ask and beg for federal dollars, chances of individuals seeing any financial relief from damage to a poorly placed home are slim.
So what does that mean? It means, you do what you need to do to be prepared. If you’re able to move to higher ground, of course, do so. If you’re not able to move, what are your options? Are you doomed because your mortgage has tied you to a house that may betray you? Not necessarily. There are things you can do. While you are high and dry, it is time to prepare. It’s time to stock up on sandbags. It’s time to build up landscaping to minimize flooding. Research diverting water, landscaping, and other options for flooding prevention. In other words, it’s time to assume you’ll receive nothing from the government and take control of the situation you are in.
Part of taking control is understanding your vulnerability. Store your food and water. Store physically high and low, spread out your resources so you can use them in different types of emergencies. But have enough resources for you and your family to ride out any storm that comes your way. If you have to ride out a flood, make sure you have enough clean water and food to do so. Even better, get away before you become stranded. Grab your Bug-Out Bag and go. Go before traffic stalls and before you can’t get out of the city.
The takeaway? Your preparation is your responsibility. It’s not the government’s responsibility. It’s not your community leaders’ responsibility. If you’re reading this, you probably already understand this concept.