Across much of the U.S., this is urban flood season. Hurricane season is just getting started in the Atlantic, and monsoon storms are due soon in the Southwest and in the Rocky Mountains.
Floods are the most common and the most costly natural disaster in the U.S. (according to the Red Cross), and flooding killed at least 126 people in 2016 (per the National Weather Service). So I called up George Sullivan, who directs community preparedness programs for the Red Cross in Colorado and Wyoming, and asked him how to stay above water.
See it coming
“Floods can come upon you with relative speed and little warning,” says Sullivan. “Or they can be slow-moving disasters.”
To keep up to speed on flood conditions, Sullivan recommends an old-school technology: the weather band radio. The National Weather Service broadcasts seven different bands covering all regions of the country. So if you know which band covers your area, you can stay abreast of weather info even if the cellular networks go down.
The Red Cross no longer recommends battery-powered devices, though, as they tend to fail after some time on the shelf. Alkaline batteries often split open and leak acid over time, which can ruin the device. Thankfully, Sullivan says, solar and hand-crank units are now good enough to make battery-powered radios obsolete.