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How to Survive a Catastrophic Flood

Flood waters devastated an area of Australia larger than the State of Texas – what can we learn from this? A lot about flood survival and surviving a flood.
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Since the early months of 2007, I've posted a number of articles to this website on the topic of survival.
You'll notice that the website writes on a number of apocalyptic topics dealing with "end times" scenarios from the Bible and what would happen should society as we know it completely collapse as Biblical events begin taking place.

Catastrophic Flooding in Australia

Well, let's tone things down for a moment, and go from a permanent collapse of society to simply a temporary collapse. This is what residents of parts of Australia are dealing with at the time of this writing, as they experience the worst flooding in the last 37 years and as reported in recent days a flood bigger than the state of Texas.

At the same time, an "inland tsunami" just took the lives of a number of people as small disasters take place amid this epic disaster that I've heard reporters even use the words of "Biblical proportions" in recent days.

MSNBC - 1/12/2011: Floods turn major Australian city into ghost town: Thousands of homes inundated in Brisbane

This flood is big. Many towns and cities have been cut off from civilization. Streets and highways are underwater and it's dangerous to even be out in the water, considering that Australia's rivers are full of crocodiles and dangerous snakes and these animals are now potentially right on their door steps.

Helicopters are having to airlift supplies into towns scattered across this massive area.

How do you prepare for a disaster of this magnitude?

Epic Flooding in Brisbane Australia

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A Glimpse into the Book of Revelation

What if some folks in Brisbane Australia had believed (like many Christians today) that we are entering the end times, as promised to occur in the Bible? What if they had believed that the "Tribulation" (described in the Bible as a time of great sorrow and devastation and great evil that will take place in the world), could come some time soon?

Like it or not, it is what the Bible promises in Revelation, the last chapter.

Man's Wickedness Growing on Unprecedented Scale

The world is growing wicked on an unprecedented scale. Never before have this many people lived on earth. And never before have things like the Internet and television, movies, books, and magazines enabled so much evil to be mass-marketed to the world. Many of God's people (former Christians) don't realize that they have become lost to this evil. In fact many may even pray every day and attend church. Sure they probably know deep down that something is wrong, but they continue living this way simply because they have been blinded and deceived by the devil.

Brisbane, Australia Flood and the "Inland Tsunami"

So, back to Brisbane, Australia, and the massive flooding taking place, and the "inland tsunami" that just brought another disaster to a place already suffering from disaster...

CBC - Floodwaters reach Brisbane: "Inland Instant Tsunami"

This is an article on survival. This is an article about being a "survivor" in a town that's under flood waters, or simply an area that is on higher ground, but completely cut off from the rest of society, perhaps by hundreds of miles of water.

What do you do when the flood waters hit? How do you get out of this?

Well, to begin with, it's time to start praying and get your hearts right with God, and cry out for Jesus to be Lord and Savior of your life. Ask God for help getting out of this! Just maybe God will send someone to rescue you, or simply give you some direction for getting out of this alive.

Back to the sudden disaster at hand, such as a flood ...

Begin with taking immediate stock of the situation...

Do Your Neighbors Need Help?

Outside of your household, are any of your nearby neighbors in need of possible rescue (for example, the elderly, mentally disabled, handicap, or small children)?

Is it safe to venture out into the water, or is the water "moving" and too deep?

I'm going to give some tips, and none of these have I ever tried and tested. I'm just going off of instinct and past studies of survival.

If you're in Brisbane, Australia, or places like Florida or Louisiana, and crocodiles or alligators or venomous snakes may pose a threat, I advise finding a small boat or raft, that either you or a neighbor can make use of. I also advise having a very long rope, or many long ropes tied together, and tied to an anchor point, for example your porch, or a tree in your yard.

Bring more rope with you in the boat (if possible) and consider creating a line between you and a neighbor's home (if in close proximity). I've crossed a shallow, rushing river by rope before, when both ends were tied on opposite sides of the river. (Of course, these ropes can present hazards to other boaters, so keep that in mind).

If there's no one nearby who needs to be rescued, or if it's just too dangerous to venture outside, establish the safest and highest room in your home as base camp.

Supplies for Surviving a Flood

Quickly go about your home, and remove important items from the lowest places in the home, where it's safe to go and grab items like bottled water, food, blankets, radio, batteries, flashlights, candles, etc.

If floodwaters are rising up fast, and these items are in your basement, well you better be fast or risk drowning in the basement if the flood rushes in.

Do you have a ladder and an axe? Grab these. Also grab a hammer, saws, any buckets, rope, and tarp. Grab a mirror, and if you don't have one upstairs where you're setting up your "camp", break a mirror downstairs and bring some pieces upstairs with you (these might be used for signalling in the days to come).

Be sure to grab medicine, and any hygiene items like toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, dish soap, etc. If you still have time, grab some books, and I hope you grab the Bible first.

Day 2 ... You look outside and floodwaters cover the area for as far as you can see. Neighbors are climbing out onto roofs, and yelling to one another above calming floodwaters. You realize that there isn't an easy way for you to get up on your roof. These neighbors must have used their second story deck or balconies to get up on the roof. But you don't have a second story deck or balcony.

Cutting a Hole Through the Roof

This is where the axe, ladder, and hammer are going to come in handy. Consider choosing a room, or even better make your way into the attic, and to a far side of the house away from the "base camp" room you've set up. From the attic, start banging away at the edges of the rafters, and figure out where the plywood sheeting holding the roof shingles can be beaten back. Take your axe to the roof if you have to. Use one of your saws. You are cutting an exit hole out to the roof, where you can go and sit to scan the area, shout to neighbors, and wait for possible rescue. Use one of your broken pieces of mirror to signal the sky, or horizon, should any helicopters appear, or to signal any rescue boats or crafts out in the distance (signal mirror requires sunlight by the way).

Day 3 ... No rescue has come yet. The waters aren't rising, but it's clear that there is some kind of current, because your small boat that you have tied to your porch wants to float away. You and your neighbor aren't talking much. The shouting has gone on for too long. You and your wife are both a little hoarse. Your teen age son has been a help, but he's also showing signs of intense anxiety. This is not a normal flood. Why isn't it dying down? Are ocean levels rising? We're fifty miles from the shore and yet all we see is waters off to the horizon? What in the world is happening? Dad, if this flood reaches the shore, are there sharks in the water swimming in from the ocean now?

So, we have to deal with crocodiles, snakes, and sharks?

Day 4 ... Rather than use the upstairs toilet and risk some kind of back up (no one in the family is really sure how toilets actually work), you've been using one of your buckets as a toilet, and dumping the waste into the floodwaters. This is what the neighbors must be doing, you tell your family.

To collect water to use in your bucket as a makeshift toilet, again and again you've gone downstairs to the main level of your home, but you can't actually get all the way down the stairs. That's because the flood waters rise up about five steps up from the living room floor. In fact, most of your furniture is partially submerged underwater.

In your mind, you take inventory of the supplies upstairs. There's perhaps two days left of bottled water, as you've been rationing the bottled water that you already have. You've placed cooking pots on the roof, that have been able to collect a little rain water, but it hasn't been raining as much as it was in the days leading up to the massive flooding.

Rain-Catch for Collecting Water

You've also created a "rain-catch" out of the tarp, and that has been the best way you've found to collect the most amount of rain water, where the tarp is tied to your chimney and then you've nailed an opposite corner to a higher point on the roof. Now, you've got a 100 square foot section of tarp effectively covering part of the roof, and that when rained on, is "funneling" rain down to a lower point, where you have a cooking pot rigged to collect the water as it drips off.

But knowing you're running out of non-perishable food, and that you already cleaned out the fridge, you decide to wade through the waters to the freezer portion, which is above the fridge, out of the reach of the flood waters.

Cooking Partially-Frozen Food

You open the freezer door and see that clearly the food has been thawing, but the meat is still probably partially frozen in the center. There's enough to feed the family for a couple more days.

Now, however, comes the challenge of cooking. You're going to have to create a cooking fire, but where can you safely create one? The idea comes to you to go to the room of the house (the back bedroom) where you had cut that hole through the roof after climbing up into the attic, and took out a section of the roof. Taking the biggest pot on hand, you place it in the room, and then proceed to emptying your son's dresser, and chopping it to pieces. These are going to make your cooking fire. The large pot is going to work as a burn barrel.

You open the bedroom window, and shut the door, effectively sealing the room off from the rest of the house.

The open window and the hole up above in the attic will allow the smoke to escape, but you're still sure the room is going to be smoky.

Emergency Cooking Fire

A small price to pay for a good cooking fire. There's one thing you realize, you don't have a grill to cook on ... you venture back downstairs to the kitchen, slogging through the water, and force open the oven. You grab both of the grill racks, knowing the other might come in handy for something else later.

Day 7 ... You're running out of food. Maybe there's enough food for another day or two. The flood waters haven't dropped. It's almost as if your area of the country has simply become part of the nearby ocean. Which means there may definitely be sharks. And you're fifty miles inland! Today, you decide to finally get the family out of here. You notice that the slight current is pulling the boat you have tied to your front porch inland, toward the interior of the country. But you only see water in all directions. Well if the current is heading inland, then wouldn't it carry you toward the interior, you tell yourself. You convince your family that staying may not be a good idea, and that if you load up the boat and head inland, you'll eventually meet dry land.

Only Taking Essential Supplies

You decide to fill yourselves on the last remaining food from the freezer (now completely thawed) and cook one last meal. You don't want to carry many items in your boat, so you decide to grab essentials. Clothing, shoes, outdoor gear, garbage bags to keep everything dry, including backpacks, your tarp, rope, axe, water bottles, and a couple pots. Smaller items include lighters, a couple pocket knives, a couple emergency candles that haven't been lit, a flashlight, the last of your batteries.

You notice that chap stick and fingernail clippers and toenail clippers may come in handy... what if this is long term devastation you tell yourself.

Let's make a couple oars you tell your family, and after some debating and a lot of creative thinking come up with two oars -- both originally were brooms now with ends wrapped in garbage bags and hard plastic cut from a garbage can, and taped together to fit over the broom bristles, and then wrapped in the plastic, effectively creating water-proof paddles that may just hold up... for a while...

Maybe you can get more supplies along the way, you realize, as you drift toward a neighborhood in the distance and past a couple of your neighbors flooded homes.

Yeah, well, what if one of them wants our boat, your son warns. What if we find a better boat, your wife suggests.

That's possible, you say, but any good boats have probably already been taken. We may have waited too long...

* * *

This disaster scenario can have any possible ending, but hopefully this one has a happy one. Our family may make it to dry land within a day or two, if they continue to head inland. Or the current may shift, and they may drift in another direction, and the makeshift oars may fail them, and the current may suddenly shift toward the ocean.

Perhaps this family is able to jump from house to house, and come across homes where families had been away or at work, when the flood waters came rushing in. These homes may still be fully stocked, though some of these "stocks" may be under flood waters.

This article could easily turn into a book, but my purpose for writing this is to try to present this in one article for the website. Though short, hopefully it addressed a few key points related to survival:

Quickly grab items that will be essential for survival

Be creative and work together.

Have a way to evacuate (in this case, a small boat).

Have a Boat or Life-Raft on Hand

I can't claim to really know how to survive in this type of situation, but I do know that not having access to a boat, while having a long term epic flood taking place is not a good thing. If you live anywhere near an area that could potentially flood should the hand of God suddenly raise the oceans and drop waters from the sky and rivers and mountains, well, maybe in your disaster supplies should be a good size raft, or row boat, and of course actual oars. Your neighbor with a Zodiac may do well (it has a gas engine), however his prop may present problems should it get tangled in anything (like a downed power line), or bottom out on something like a car or truck or semi that is submerged under the water.

Maybe it's a good time to also have some fishing gear on hand, and be familiar with fishing. Our friends in Florida and other states in the south may catch a lot more than trout however. They might just hook a shark.

God can unleash anything into the flood waters, and I expect disasters that are going to occur in the Tribulation to be beyond anything that people can truly prepare for.

When I study Scripture, I see the Tribulation as a time when a lot of people come to truly turn to Jesus Christ, and finally understand what it means to truly fear God.

Escape the Wrath to Come

God offers his love to all, and wants all people to turn from their lives of sin to follow his commands. His command is to live by faith in Jesus Christ, and let the Holy Spirit reside in your heart and mind, and prepare you for life in the kingdom of Heaven -- or, should it be your destiny -- life on a new earth, where Christ reigns as King of Kings and Lord of Lords and human civilization receives the blessing of his eternal reign and glory.

Two thousand years ago, Jesus Christ, John the Baptist and many of the early Christians warned to flee from the wrath to come. The wrath to come appears to be right on our door step today. Many Bible prophecies have been fulfilled and many "signs" from Matthew 24 and Ezekiel 38 and 39 (and others) appear to be close at hand.

There is still time to be saved from this wrath. I believe there is still time to get right with God, which only comes by faith in Christ. The gift is free, the gift is instant, and the gift hinges on whether or not you really mean it in your heart when you proclaim Christ as Lord and Savior of your life.

Find a Bible. Read it with a desire to love Christ and follow his ways, and not the ways of the world. Seek out fellowship with other Bible-believing Christians. Repent of all sin and follow through on this repentance. Live it out daily. Submit to God's authority in your life, and let the Holy Spirit seal you for the day of redemption. It can happen today, all you need to do is pray.


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When Disaster Strikes, Be Prepared for Anything
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