After the recent hit by Hurricane Harvey, residents of Florida have since been seeking ways to prepare themselves for any floods afterward. Imagine waking up to find your bed soaked and stepping knee-deep into a pool of dirty brown water in your house. It is definitely disconcerting especially when you step out of your room, and everything is basically floating.
For this reason, one resident has come up with a clever way of keeping the water out. Edward Obediah Sweat has come up with a concept that involves filling trash bags with water.
According to the man, hanging trash bags with water from your door blocks the crack under the door that lets water into the house. When he posted this on social media, it was shared widely by people with relatives in flood-prone areas such as Florida.
According to his instructions, all one has to do is fill some heavy duty trash bags all the way up to two thirds. They should then be hung on the door low enough to fall on the space below the door.
He further advised people to use paint cans or buckets (five gallons) to support their furniture. This is a clever way of keeping your furniture dry through the floods. Wet furniture can be hard to dry during floods, and may eventually start rotting.
Sweat also pointed out that wearing actual clothes when going to sleep will save people some significant amount of embarrassment. This is especially the case in the morning when the news reporters have to send back images of people in soaked nightgowns and boxer shorts. Also, they are helpful when people have to work through the water at night.
As a safety precaution, Edward also reminded people to switch off their electricity at the main when going to sleep or any time it floods. This is because the water can reach electric outlets and conduct powerful currents that can kill instantaneously. He recounted an incident when a volunteer was electrocuted to death as he was checking on a house that was flooded with knee-deep water.
The occupants had left their electricity on, and the water had risen well past the sockets.
To move through water, Sweat advised his friends and family to wear shoes with hard soles and gloves. Mud boots are very suitable since they cannot let water or electricity in. This is especially important in preventing the transmission of waterborne diseases and other infections.
Apart from using the trash bags, one can also seal their doors to the floor using duct tape. This includes the garage door which should then not be opened until the waters subside.
The man also reminded the residents to have some identification with them at all times. This would make it easier for rescuers to help them in case they found themselves in a tricky situation. They should also carry a flashlight and a whistle which is essential in alerting others if anything happens.
Finally, he thought it would be wise if people had large white sheets which they could use to flag for help from boats or helicopters. It would also be prudent to map out some routes for escape and use them before they get flooded.