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Everything went in the floods. How can I prepare myself?

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Dear Life Coach,

I lived in a two-bedroom wooden house, and I lost everything during the recent floods (on Christmas Eve). I was washed out of my house and I am only alive because God chose to save me. My relatives also lost everything and are also safe. I was cooking for Christmas when I heard a big bang and the water broke in. I thought it was the end for me.{{more}} I am so happy to be alive, but since then I can hardly think straight. I do not know what to do, where to go, or how to start over again. I am also concerned; what if this happens again? I may not be so lucky next time.

Almost Gone (AG)

Dear AG,

 
You were swept away in the floods and you are grateful to be alive although you have lost everything. You are also concerned that it may happen again.

Your Situation:

Here are some factors that contribute to your present situation: Christmas celebration, flooding, surviving a flood, and existential concerns. These I will address briefly.

Christmas Celebration

Christmas is a time of celebration for people of the Christian faith tradition. We celebrate by giving and or exchanging gifts, buying new furniture and clothes, getting together with friends and relatives, decorating our homes, churches, and offices, putting on concerts and plays, and having a feast, et cetera. It is the biggest holiday worldwide and it is understood to be a joyous and peaceful time; so, to experience a devastating flood at night on Christmas Eve was terrifying and unbelievable.

Flooding

A flood is a great flowing or overflowing of water temporarily, especially over land that is not usually submerged, and which is inhabited, such as a village, city or farmlands. In some instances a flood occurs when a river overflows its embankment.

What to do:

Surviving a flood

Floods are often sudden, swift, devastating, and deadly. It is therefore important to protect yourself and your family from a flood by preparing well ahead of time. Here are some steps to surviving a flood:

Move from flood prone/low-lying areas

If you are living in a flood prone area, make every effort to relocate to another area, town or city. It may be difficult, but it may not be impossible. Do not give up before you even begin to try.

Move from hillsides with risks of landslides

A landslide is just as dangerous as rising waters. So, relocate if you are at risk for landslides. If unsure, seek information at your local government planning/housing department.

Take out a flood insurance

Insure all valuables, including land, property, vehicles, and expensive jewelry.

Learn to swim and ensure that all family members can swim

Being able to swim may be the difference between life and death if one is swept away. Even in rolling waters, you will be able to stop your breath, tread, and eventually hold on to something.

Prepare an emergency kit, using a dry bag

Emergency Kit: Your emergency kit should contain the following: an emergency blanket, essential medication, canned or dried food and can opener, water, protective clothing, rainwear, sleeping bags, battery-powered radio, flashlight, and extra batteries, identification, such as a driver’s licence, special items for infants, elderly, or disabled family members, such as diapers, toys, etc. Be sure to check your emergency supplies every six months.

Dry Bag: A dry bag is a type of bag which seals in a watertight manner, so that it floats on impact with water. As such it may be used as a floating device during heavy floods if one is swept away, while carrying necessary supplies.

Develop an evacuation plan

Decide on the quickest and safest way to exit your home and where you will meet with family members during a natural disaster. Discuss this with your family/relatives.

Secure valuables

Keep insurance policies, documents and other valuables in a safety-deposit box and place it up high. Keep the key in a safe, but easy to access place.

Reduce flood damage potential

If your home has the tendency to flood easily, raise items that may be easily damaged, e.g. electrical outlets and water heaters. Also place small items up high.

Be alert when it rains

Once it begins to rain, keep an eye out for potential flooding; be ready to take action, if necessary.

Listen to flood warning updates

Tune in to your local TV or radio station for flood updates, in order to know what to do, and follow the directives of those in authority.

When to evacuate

Evacuate when water is consistently rising. Leave early enough to be safe. Never walk or drive through moving water, e.g. on the roadway. If your car stalls in water, abandon your vehicle and move to higher ground.

Existential issues

It is normal to be fearful or worried that a life- threatening or scary event may occur again. However, it is important to be hopeful, believe in the future, expect the best, take precautions and always be ready to escape/evacuate.

AG, I am so happy your life was spared and your family’s. I will continue with my answers next time.

Life Coach

DYNACII

Need help with relationship and other problems? Ask DYNACII’s Life Coach. Email your questions to dynacii@gmail.com. To Chat with the Life Coach, visit: http://www.dynacinternational.com. Dynamic Action Center International Inc. (DYNACII) a non-governmental organization committed to social and spiritual empowerment.

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