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All About Floods

Aug 17, 2013

Every year millions of people around the world have their lives affected by floods. Flooding can come from both rivers and the sea and no region is competely safe from flooding. In the last ten years, flooding has cost the US $2.9 billion per year! A flood is simply defined as an overflow of water that submerges land that is normally dry. Depending on the severity of the flood, this can cause a lot of devastation as floods are often the reality of natural disasters like hurricanes or tornadoes. Learn all about the most widespread natural disaster apart from wildfires!

Be prepared for any natural disaster by planning aheadBe prepared for any natural disaster by planning aheadCourtesy of Flickr

What Causes Floods?

Flooding can be caused by a number of things - snow and frozen grounds melting, heavy rainfall, flash floods and mudflows. The most common cause of flooding happens when a river bursts its banks and the water spills onto the floodplain and is often called a flash flood. It can also be caused by heavy rainfall - the faster the rainwater reaches the river channel, the more likely it is to flood. The landscape around the river affects how likely it is to flood. A steep valley, the amount of vegetation and rock-type can all affect how the likelihood of flooding.

It only takes two feet of water to sweep away a carIt only takes two feet of water to sweep away a carCourtesy of Flickr

Flood Facts

  • A car can be swept away in as little as two feet of water.
  • Flash floods can bring walls of water from 10-20 feet high.
  • 90% of all U.S. natural disastersdeclared by the President involve some sort of flooding.
  • The main cause of flooding in the Eastern U.S is due to hurricanes and storms. On the West Coast, it's due to snowmelt and rainstorms.
  • In 1889, a dam break upstream from Johnston, Pennsylvania released a 30-40 foot wall of water that caused 2200 fatalities within minutes. Scary!

A town's flooded streetsA town's flooded streetsCourtesy of Flickr

How to Prepare

It's important to stock up on items for a first aid kit, have plenty of non-perishable food on hand (like canned tuna and chilli), 3 gallons of water per person for 3 days, batteries, a flashlight and a battery-operated radio to listen to weather updates. Prepare an emergency kit with emergency numbers and any essential hygiene items like wipes, medication and warm clothing. If you have a cat, make sure the carrier is somewhere easily accessible. Go to the highest ground of floor possible but if you come into contact with floodwater, make sure to wash your skin with soap and disinfectant as the flood water may be contaminated with sewage. 

Have your say

How much do you know about natural disasters? Share your knowledge in the comments below!

 

57 Comments

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Which Story is Made up?

  • Lizard Tongue.
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  • Most Tattooed Man.
  • None of them.

General In The Forums

Nandez
Nandez posted in Say Anything:
thanks for posting this Kristen. I think that it is a tough subject to talk about with other people and honestly I think it's good to talk about it in a moderate amount. Now that more pepole are being diagnosed with learning differences or some sort of other mental health disorder, I think that talking about it and informing people will only make it easier for people to feel less awkward or the odd man out. That's how I found about that I am not the only person in the room who has ADD. I'm more willing to come out and talk to people and discribe what I have to go through on a daily basis to raise awareness. School will always be hard for me so I look at my strengths to help push me forward in life. 
reply about 6 hours
AlphaT
AlphaT posted in Say Anything:
Oh wow, a genuine trigger warning. Did the memes teach you nothing?  First off, an actual warning. Take no action based on what you've read here without first consulting a mental health professional.  Now, I have a lot of experience in mental illness. I have ADHD(Pre-DSMV), an anxiety disorder, and I've tested significant for bipolar (Pre-DSMV).  My best advise is to find a therapist that you personally connect with. It's not about being comfortable, because a good therapist will challenge your thoughts, but you need to be able to accept those challenges. And to do that, you'll need a therapist that you mesh with.  Aside from that, good medication can go a long way to helping you live with your mental issues. However, this isn't true for everyone, and it should be handled by a medical professional. 
reply about 6 hours
AlphaT
AlphaT posted in Say Anything:
I mean, it's a problem, but it's a problem that most all hormonal teens go through. 
reply about 6 hours
jordand08
jordand08 posted in Say Anything:
Yes, there's so many things I wish I was told that I wasn't.
reply about 8 hours
Kirsteeeeen
This is great, Kris! Loved it.  Thank you :) It's one of those things I wish someone had said to me in the past, y'know?
reply about 8 hours