Flooding. First time happening to you. How and why?

Before I begin, I’d like to send my heart out to all those who have recently experienced a flooding in their neighbourhood. There is no way to soften a blow like that.. when mother nature decides it is time to reclaim her earth, she doesn’t pick and choose where it happens.

People need to remember, that we’re all visitors here, for a temporary time. The earth will do, what it needs to do, without consulting anyone first.

If you do historical research, you will learn that continents, mountains, and lands have been re-shaped, and re-formed many times over the centuries. When the time comes for water to flow over the river banks and flood your town, there is nothing you could have done ahead of time to stop it.

It is no secret. Everyone likes to live near water. Some of the most expensive homes are near the ocean, lakes, or even creeks or rivers. As humans, we need water to survive. The sound of fresh water is soothing to our ears.
But there comes the catch-22. If you have access to nearby water, be ready at some point in your life, for it to become your worst enemy.

You’re not at fault for that, any more than mother nature is at fault for the natural cycle of the environment.  If you are to blame someone, don’t blame nature. Blame the developers who built your house near floodplain who knew this was a possibility. Blame yourself for not checking into the potential problems that could arise by owning a home so close to a natural water source.

As I mentioned, the earth is going to do its thing regardless of what type of urban structures we’ve built nearby.

So in the end, a flooding problem could be blamed more on the naivety of the citizens, developers, and City Hall who allowed something to be build next to a possible “flash flood” area. Sure, you could live there for 10, 20, even 30 years. But the day will eventually come. For many people, that day has already happened.

How can you properly prepare for something like this?

Well that’s kind of simple. The day you move in, get ready for a “grab and go” bag when the waters start to rise. Find an insurance company who will insure against floods. Your realtor may tell you that the place hasn’t flooded in 40 years. All that means is, that your flooding situation is overdue.

Get to know your neighbours, so you can help one another in a time of need.  Learn where the high elevation parts are in your neighbourhood.  Read your community disaster plan before a disaster hits. (All communities have one).

Keep extra money on hand, so if an unexpected emergency shows up, you’re not holding the latest popular cell phone, laptop or tablet, but instead have funds available to clothe, feed, and move you to safe ground when things go wrong.

Long ago, before people had houses, electricity, or even the English language, natives were flooded out of their shelters. When that happened, they became wiser, experienced, and passed down that knowledge to their own children.  We are not exempt from that either.

When mother nature unleashes her fury, we need to learn from that, and not be upset. After all, the writing was all on the wall the entire time. We simply didn’t listen.

My heart goes out to those evacuated families in Alberta, Canada.  I bet none of them will be buying their next home next to a “riverfront”. But at the same time, we shouldn’t chastise them for an innocent mistake.  When disaster hits, it brings everyone together. It’s one of those few times that community spirit means everything.

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