HOME FLOOD DEFENCES AND PLANS

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HOME FLOOD DEFENCES AND PLANS

Post by Dutto on Sun Feb 09, 2014 10:11 pm

Hi there,

I've just been watching an article on the BBC News and seen a bunch of army lads and firemen laying sandbags to build a dam against some flood water.  They were doing it completely wrong, standing downstream of the dam and trying to stop the flow by packing filled sandbags on the downstream side.

This will NEVER work because you need to use the upstream water pressure to stop the water flow.

MY ADVICE IS:

IN PREPARATION:

o  MAKE A PLAN of what will need to be done.

o  OBTAIN the necessary materials to fulfil The Plan.

e.g. For each gap (door, french window, air-brick etc) obtain a sheet of polythene big enough to cover and overlap whatever you want to seal, enough filled sandbags to build tapering walls across the openings and a few buckets of ordinary garden soil mixed with wetted peat.

o  WORK OUT how you and your family are going to stay warm, dry and fed if floodwaters arrive.

o  IF these elements cannot be guaranteed make Evacuation Arrangements including how you will leave your home as safe and secure as possible.

WHEN A FLOOD IS THREATENED

Downstairs inside the house:

o  BLOCK OFF SHOWER TRAY DRAINS (lay a pedal bin bag over the drain and place a filled sandbag on top).

o  BLOCK OFF TOILET BOWLS (block the hole with a pedal bin bag loosely filled with sand then hold the bag in place with a filled sandbag).

o  UNPLUG ALL ELECTRICAL DEVICES.

o  EMPTY ALL low lying cupboards.

o  LIFT ALL loose carpets and CONSIDER LIFTING fitted carpets.

o  MOVE everything possible upstairs or to a loft space.

o  IF IT CAN'T BE MOVED UPSTAIRS raise whatever is left as high as possible (e.g. up on to tables, work-tops etc).

o  PACK AN EVACUATION BAG that contains:

    o  A change of clothes, toothbrush, razor etc.

    o  Cash, Cheque Books, Credit Cards and Bank Details.

    o  Passports, Birth Certificates, Marriage Certificates, Insurance Certificates.

    o  Any other critical paperwork.

Outside the House:

o  Loosely stretch the polythene sheet along the ground and up the opening to the height you wish to protect.

o  Build a tapering wall of sandbags on and against the polythene to the required height.  (In the case of French Windows and other wide glass doors it will be wise to install some wooden bracing across the gap behind the polythene so that the full weight of the water and sandbags is kept off the glass itself.)


WHEN THE WATER ARRIVES:

o  Water will ALWAYS seep past the polythene/sandbag barrier so be prepared to mop up on the protected side.

o  IF the water comes through the barrier at a significant rate go outside and sprinkle the buckets of loose soil/peat on and around the sandbags below the waterline.  Properly applied the soil/peat will be swept into the cracks between the sandbags and the polythene by the water flow and thereby form a seal to reduce the flow rate.

o  CARRY OUT the Evacuation Plan if required.

FINALLY:

When your house is secure go and see if the neighbours need any help.  In the case of a flood you and your neighbours are almost certainly going to have a joint experience!

For the people who are having trouble with the current flooding, you have my deepest sympathy and I hope this helps either during this crisis or in the future.

Remember:

"When you have a Plan you can always change it,
but without a Plan you have to start from scratch
 AND IT MAY ALREADY BE TOO LATE!"

Best regards,
 drinksallround

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Re: HOME FLOOD DEFENCES AND PLANS

Post by mikethebike on Mon Feb 10, 2014 10:52 pm

Hi Ian, Please send a copy of this for the people in charge.

i would expect under the dire circumstances we find ourselves in ,this sensible advice would have been circulated some time ago.!!

regards

mike
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Re: HOME FLOOD DEFENCES AND PLANS

Post by Dutto on Mon Feb 10, 2014 11:56 pm

Mike,

Our house is within half a mile of the North Sea and below high-tide level so we have an "interest" in such matters!

We are also on the Environment Agency "Texted Warning System" so whenever the Met Office put out a Flood Warning I get a text and can make up my own mind what to do about it.

One thing I forgot to put in the "Preparation" part of my original post was "Move your AutoSleeper to high ground so that it is safe and can be used for accommodation purposes if your home becomes uninhabitable."
DOH!!!!  tap_fingers  tap_fingers 

With regard to the current extensive and persistent flooding in the West Country I think that quite a few government agencies took their eyes off the ball many years ago when they made the decisions to:

o  Allow houses to be built on flood plains (the clue is in the name).

o  Reduce the frequency and seriousness of flooding by raising the levels of river banks.

Raising the river banks has reduced the "frequency of flooding" but, once the water has escaped from within the confines of the river it can't flow back and drain away.  (Which is why we see TV footage of all these pumps working away to put the water back where it belongs!)

As a result, although the "frequency of flooding" has been reduced the "duration of flooding" has been dramatically increased.

Incidentally, dredging the rivers is another effort to reduce the frequency of flooding but it would have no effect on the duration of the flooding once the river broke its banks.

Best regards,
 drinksallround 
Ian

PS

The last time we got a "Flood Warning" text was the day that Nelson Mandela died.

We were in France at the time and got mightily teed off that for almost a week the BBC News gave blanket coverage of Nelson Mandela's death and devoted less than an thirty minutes (that we saw) to the potential flood situation on the east coast.

All we got from them was a very brief article to the effect that the town of Boston (twenty miles to the east of us and a few miles away from the coast proper) had been flooded.

Luckily, when we got home we discovered that Skegness and our home had escaped unscathed but the Boat Club Clubhouse at Saltfleetby had been flooded out, a storage container had been floated off its base and the sea had come to within inches of the top of the brand-new (September last year) flood wall!

Lucky eh??  allthumbz

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Re: HOME FLOOD DEFENCES AND PLANS

Post by Dutto on Wed Feb 12, 2014 9:11 am

Hi there,

There was a man on BBC News yesterday basically reinforcing most of the points I made.  up! 

Apparently he was the CEO of UK Flood Barriers so he did have a bit of a vested interest.  snigger 

 drinksallround

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Re: HOME FLOOD DEFENCES AND PLANS

Post by Dutto on Thu Feb 13, 2014 12:11 am

Hi there,

Is anyone else getting fed up of the latest "Money is not a problem." attitude when it comes to the recent floods?  scratch head  scratch head 

The reason I ask is that in the last major floods there were a load of people on TV telling the world that the main reason was "run off" from developed land such as roads, car parks, school playgrounds, the roofs of houses and business premises etc etc etc.  (i.e. It rained, the water couldn't soak into the ground so it ran off these places into rivers and the rivers flooded.)

When I worked in Chennai (Madras) in India the local government were worried that, with the increase in city population, the increase in urban development and the corresponding increase in water usage, the underlying fresh water aquifer was being used too quickly and could get contaminated by saltwater flooding in from the sea.

To prevent this from happening EVERY new construction within the city (be it a house, supermarket, driveway, car park etc etc etc) had to install a sufficient number of specially designed water run-off traps to ensure that no rainwater ran off the property into surface drains or sewers.

The traps were designed so that the rainwater was filtered before draining into the underlying aquifer that supplied the city.

During the last hose-pipe ban I asked Anglian Water why this method, which is being used in a poor country like India, was not being implemented in the UK.  I was told that it is "Too expensive." at that time, but now everything is flooded we hear that "Money is not a problem".

Lord, before I die, please let me witness an honest politician answering an unequivocal "Yes." or "No." to a direct question! allthumbz 

Best regards and sympathy to anyone who is flooded out of house and home.   best_friends  best_friends 

 drinksallround

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Re: HOME FLOOD DEFENCES AND PLANS

Post by mikethebike on Thu Feb 13, 2014 1:42 pm

Yes Ian,  We have been waiting for years for more pipelines to move water,and more storage facilities.
its only two years ago it was a threat of drought to the country!
We should not have de- nationalized the water companies.
That's my opinion.

regards 

mike
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Re: HOME FLOOD DEFENCES AND PLANS

Post by Dutto on Thu Feb 13, 2014 2:53 pm

mikethebike wrote:Yes Ian,  We have been waiting for years for more pipelines to move water,and more storage facilities.
its only two years ago it was a threat of drought to the country!
We should not have de- nationalized the water companies.
That's my opinion.

regards 

mike
 Oh God - don't get me going!!!!!!


How about the rest of the profit making nationalised companies that put money INTO the Exchequer!  You know the ones:

o  British Gas

o  British Telecom

o  British Steel

o  Central Electricity Generating Board

o  Regional Electricity Boards

o  British National Oil Company

o  General Post Office

o  National Coal Board

I left the NCB to last because to quote Michael Caine "Not many people know this!"  As a business the NCB actually turned a tiny net profit.  Coal production wasn't heavily subsidised from central government as most of the subsidies came from the investments the NCB had made in the Coke and Oil and Gas Industries.

Most of these profit making nationally owned companies are now owned by foreign companies and as a result we have no control over their management and the profits flow out of the UK like blood flowing from a severed artery.

The only nationalised industry that required subsidising before privatisation was British Rail.  It was heavily subsidised but of course the lack of profit didn't stop privatisation because the government just promised enough subsidies to make sure that the new franchise owners (now mainly foreign companies) could still turn a hefty profit!

I'm glad that we can't discuss "politics" on this Forum but "Lions lead by donkeys." anyone? allthumbz 

Best regards,
 drinksallround 
Ian

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LATEST NEWS!

Post by Dutto on Sat Feb 15, 2014 10:29 am

Hi there,

On this morning's BBC News they have shown what appears to be three feet high waves washing down a street from the sea.  wave  wave 
Deepest sympathies to anyone affected.  It must be a horrendous experience!!  tap_fingers  tap_fingers 

Best regards,
 best_friends   drinksallround  best_friends

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Re: HOME FLOOD DEFENCES AND PLANS

Post by mikethebike on Sat Feb 15, 2014 10:35 pm

Hi, we may all be in the nuthouse. Its announced that councils are planning to put houses on those flooded areas!!
When will it sink in ,to coin a phase.
regards

mike
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Re: HOME FLOOD DEFENCES AND PLANS

Post by Dutto on Sun Feb 16, 2014 10:55 am

mikethebike wrote:Hi, we may all be in the nuthouse. Its announced that councils are planning to put houses on those flooded areas!!
When will it sink in ,to coin a phase.
regards

mike

Mike,

Out in Indonesia I saw a whole community where the houses were built on stilts to keep them above the waterline so maybe the Council in question knows what it's doing!!

My good lady once lived in a Council maisonette next to the River Tyne in Scotland.  The river overflowed about once every two years so the Council had built the maisonettes on top of the garages knowing that they would probably flood.  Occupants were expected to keep an eye on river levels and move their vehicles before they got flooded.

The Council even positioned the electricity sockets above the "normal flood level".

Don'tcha just love Councils!!

 drinksallround 
Ian

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Re: HOME FLOOD DEFENCES AND PLANS

Post by Dutto on Tue Feb 18, 2014 12:23 am

Hi there,

Any regular reader of the Forum will know how much I love the Daily Wail but I have to say that this particular article (mentioned on BBC News this evening) tends to support my views!

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2561435/Pictures-Somerset-river-1960s-today-width-halved-leading-flooding-Environment-Agency-stopped-dredging-regularly.html

Best regards,
 drinksallround

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