What happens when homes are flooded and ways to protect

Video from BBc shows what happens when homes are flooded, what structural protection measures can be implemented for homes and a look at 'invisible' flood protection for local authorities. However no mention of non-structural protection measures, such as 'go-bags', insurance, family preparation. Good to use in a geography class though!

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Comment by Justin Sharpe on June 30, 2012 at 9:07
Sandbagging taken from Red Cross website and shared here - link at the bottom!

Ask students if they have seen television news pictures of people trying to protect their homes in response to a flood warning.
Very often, they will be seen building a sandbag wall.
Ask students why – and discuss the basics of the flood defence. The idea is to reduce the amount of water that might enter the property.
Split the class into three and give each group one of the following questions for exploration. They can try to find the answers there and then – through discussion or through internet searching, if available. Or it could be set as an out-of-class homework activity.
For some classes, everyone could be invited to tackle all three.
Is it a good idea to put a sandbag in the toilet bowl? Explain.
It can be a very bad idea to arrange sandbags higher than one metre. Why might this be?
Where do you get sandbags? What could you use instead if you do not have enough?
Yes, a sandbag in the loo can be good. Floodwater can enter through drains, toilets and other outlets such as washing machines. The simplest way to prevent this is by putting plugs into sinks and baths and weighing them down with a sandbag or other heavy object. Outlets from washing machines and dishwashers should be disconnected. Place a sandbag in the toilet bowl and block the washing machine drain with a suitable plug (e.g. cloth or towel) to prevent backflow.
Because the pressure of water can damage the structure of the building. In cases of very severe flooding (where the floodwater is more than one metre deep) keeping water out of your property can do more harm than good. Unless your building is specifically designed to withstand such stresses, the hydrostatic pressures involved with deep water can cause long-term structural damage and undermine the foundations of a property. Therefore you should not aim to prevent water from entering your property through any windows, doors, airbricks etc. more than one metre above the level of the ground surrounding the property.
Unfilled sandbags and a supply of sand can be purchased from some DIY stores and builders merchants. But if a flood is forecast, supply may be limited. Some councils may provide sandbags in an emergency. If you have not purchased sandbags and sand in advance, you can use alternatives such as pillow cases or refuse sacks and fill them with garden soil.
This resource was written by PJ White and produced in May 2008.

This resource and other free educational materials are available at www.redcross.org.uk/education
Comment by Justin Sharpe on January 10, 2010 at 10:48
Hi Marla,
An interesting question! I have done a little research for you and others who visit the site! One company - I think these were the one's featured on the report - UK Flood Barriers have a testing and training facility as well as a Q& A section and information on having a flood plan - But this page also has links to a multitude of other UK based sites with a variety of products! One of the sites has a list of flood gate packages for doors and cost between £325-£490 depending on the width to cover - these are for domestic use and there are others for businesses etc! The UK flood barriers site have back-flow valves (to prevent sewerage from coming up through WC, which can be devstating and lead to home-owners not being allowed into property for a considerable length of time) for £149 each. Many sites have the air-brick covers and I have seen them for as low as £14 on one of the sites. These are very useful and alongside the back-flow protection, would be the most cost-effective if you live a in a flood risk area. People will spend time making price comparisons for electronic gear, so why not for home-safety!
Comment by Marla Petal on January 6, 2010 at 21:03
These looked really interesting and really important, but I didn't understand them!!
Can someone make something really clear! If I wanted to include these methods on a Family disaster plan, what would they be called (individually and collectively). How many different methods does one house need? and what is the cost range to implement these measures on a median-priced single-family home.... ?

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