Water Water everywhere, yet not a drop to drink. One of the biggest overlooked items to have, in times of flood, is potable water. It can be canteens, quart containers or gallon jugs, but whatever vessel is used, ensure a tight seal, and have enough to last 3 days or roughly a gallon per person, per day.
Food and water are essential to life. MRE’s or meals ready to eat, are sealed in an airtight pouch, and require no water or heat to eat. For only a couple of dollars each, MRE’s can be stored for long periods of time. Up to 10 years, depending on storage conditions. They take up little room, and can be purchased individually, or in 72 hr survival kits.
A watertight bag, like a Ziploc, inside another larger type bag, is an effective way of carrying important items. Matches or a lighter, for instance. Or medications. Extra batteries. All important items to have on hand in the event flood strikes.
A first aid kit belongs in every emergency supply kit, and should be the first thing into the kit. First aid First in. Obviously, the bigger the kit, the better prepared, though space is always a factor. Tweezers, gauze, tape, scissors, knife, and of course, antiseptic, are all essential items. Another option would be to have a larger First Aid kit, but carry it separately. Perhaps a separate small backpack, just for First aid supplies.
A bug out kit is for the purpose of being able to move quickly, These bags should be prepared ahead of time, and stored in a safe dry place. The bags, or backpacks, need to be checked regularly, and refreshed as needed.
Flashlight, spare batteries. Moving around in a flooded area is difficult enough. Doing it during the night, with no electricity, is nearly impossible. Save precious space in the bag, by using a hand cranked flashlight. No batteries needed.
Radio, spare batteries. Or again, find a manually operated radio. Relatively inexpensive, and easy to find. Either way, a radio is good to have for updates on the affected area, and when help might be nearby.
Flare - When help does arrive, a way to get their attention, is through brightly colored smoke. A flare takes up little room, can light itself, and will burn for quite awhile. Two or even 3 spares, wrapped in a closed baggie, can go a long way towards rescue. Before lighting a flare however, be aware of your surroundings and the smell of the air. Gas leaks and flares combined, make for an explosive situation.
A mirror is excellent for reflection. It can be used to reflect the suns light, and grab the attention of rescuers in the area. Not as good as a flare, but effective, and considerably cheaper. It also takes up less space, and doesn’t need to be waterproofed.
Rope - it is a good idea to have some strong rope handy. Clothes line is sold in 50 and 100’ lengths. tightly packaged, it takes up little room, and is well worth the space it takes.
Map - Again in it’s own (plastic or leather) bag or pouch. Normal landmarks may no longer be visible, and a map could be invaluable.
A boat would certainly be handy in a flood situation, but an inflatable raft, inner-tube or even life-vests, are all handy items in areas subject to flooding. While it wouldn’t be prudent to float off in a pool raft or ring, some type of sturdy inflatable may be helpful when rescuers do arrive, or the water begins to recede.
Another biggie, that often gets overlooked, is simple confidence. The best tool available, is the one that sits on the shoulders. Being prepared, by going through practice drills, what if scenarios, checklists, and monthly audits, will bring a sense of calm, as opposed to panic, should disaster ever strike.