Thursday, March 29, 2012

Flood Maps And Other Things To Help Yourself

There are a lot of things people can do to protect themselves from disasters.  Learning what these things are can save your and your loved ones a lot of misery and maybe even your lives. 

The USGS not only has earthquake maps, it has lots of other things that can help you. One of these is flood maps. Some of the maps are for current flooding.  Other maps show year round patterns of flooding. One of the maps even shows flooding levels for a specific point on a map. The resolution is good enough to tell whether the home you are considering buying is going to be underwater.

Google satellite maps shows amazing things all over the world. I do not know what is available in different countries, but Google goes almost everywhere. If your country does not have an equivalent to the USGS, then you can still tell quite a bit by looking at Google satellite maps. 

I posted earlier on forest fires, or wild fires becoming much more common worldwide because of climate change. That post showed maps of real time fires burning all over Africa. The maps were done by satellite and had amazing resolution. You could clearly see the fires and how big they were.

Our biggest protection is to not go to places where we will be unnecessarily surprised by a disaster. If you choose to locate in an area that has predictable disasters, you can often take measures to avoid the disaster entirely or at least make their effect on you and your loved ones less severe.

If you know that wildfires will be common in your location, you can make sure to keep your property as free as possible from flammable materials. This can be as simple as clearing a fire break along the perimeter of your property. 

I have been looking into the advantages of underground homes as a way of being safe from many kinds of disasters. When built right, an underground home can be almost fireproof. I understand a properly planned and built underground home is also comparatively safe from earthquakes, because they simply move with the ground movement and are not destroyed like regular buildings.

Here is the link to the site about flooding from the USGS:

Mike Oehler wrote the book I just read about building underground homes. I am not certain that his plans will work for my area without adjustment, because I live in an area with extensive permafrost. Using the earth surrounding an underground home as Mike Oehler did could cause permafrost to melt more rapidly than climate change alone is doing. I believe his basic idea will even work here, with some slight modifications.

I think that I will describe Mike Oehler's ideas in a post to this site. It may even require more than one post, since his ideas are very good for people who want to be prepared for emergencies. 

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