You know, flooding, and water, are strange beasts. It’s odd to live in a city while it’s flooding and realize that you are essentially trapped where you are. As the water rises bridges are shut down and you can’t go anywhere. Power goes out because water runs over and through the substations and power plants. Water floods roads and make it hard to even walk anywhere because of the water standing in streets. It’s an odd feeling.
It’s odd to think that water is necessary for life, but also can snuff out life.
Being Peak Oil aware and having an idea to keep emergency items handy to deal with emergencies related to Peak Oil make it easier to deal with emergencies like flooding. As I started thinking about how to get ourselves situated for the flooding we’re experiencing I realized that we were mostly already prepared, because of the Peak Oil preparedness. We’ve got drinking water stored up at the house in case the water treatment plant has to shut down. We’ve got food stored up that we can eat to make it through until things are over. We have lights and flashlights and batteries. Being prepared for PO helped me think what was the most important things to have for the next few days (Katrina helped too). We’ve even filled the tub up for extra water to either drink or flush the toilet with. Water is the most important thing. Food next. (Sharon has a ton of great information on her site to help you get prepared in the future if you aren’t.)
We’ve experienced some water in our basement through this ordeal, but not a whole lot. Last night I set up 3 rain barrels hoping that by capturing the water from the downspouts in the affected areas we might be able to keep the water at bay. It did OK last night but the basement was wet this morning, but a barrel also fell over. So, did it work or not? Did the basement flood because of the rain or the sudden deluge of water from a tipped over barrel? Either way we have another 150+ gallons of water to use if they do in fact get filled up, which they should given our rain this morning and later today.
Earlier today we lost power. It’s back now. But for how long? If it stays off we’ll have a challenging time prepared much more than fruits and vegetables. But, I guess we could probably do OK with those for a few days. I have plans to make an outdoor cooking center that uses wood, if I can ever get to it, and having that would further prepare us, although in a rainy situation it might not be the most useful thing in the world. So, lesson learned, what good is food if it can’t be prepared?
I have to say, given the circumstances I’m quite proud to be living in Iowa. People are helping other people. Everyone is preparing themselves for a solid week of conditions like this. Heck, I worked at the sandbagging operation with a guy who had been sandbagging for 22 hours straight. Not for his own use, so that people who needed them would have them. It’s amazing what is happening.
I don’t expect much more than 20% of the city to end up under water, and I hesitate to compare this to Katrina because the devastation is much, much less, but there wont’ be a situation like that here. We don’t have people staying behind when they are told to evacuate. People are prepared with supplies. The authorities are prepared. The circumstances are different because we’ve had some time to prepare for it verses in New Orleans where the levees suddenly broke, but I think the people make all the difference. Authorities took this seriously. The citizens took it seriously. Everyone did what they needed to do to get ready and, most importantly, when they were told to evacuate they left. I’ve heard of a few that want to ride it out, but they have mostly been forced out by police or their relatives. The radio and TV stations have done a great job keeping everyone aware of evacuation orders, volunteer operations and other things that they can do to help and be prepared.