Flood Recovery and Mitigation


New York City (2012 Hurricane Sandy):

I've assembled the more obvious ideas I've had / thought up to make it less likely that the entire transportation system for New York City will grind to a halt for nearly a week whenever we have a hurricane or nor'easter storm surge that effects only a few percent of the considerable land mass that makes up NYC.  I'd not have bothered, if I had seen or heard of ANY  initiative on the part on NY to ensure this won't happen again.  Even if a storm and it's surge hits the city next week. 
Catskill Region, New York State (2011 Hurricane Irene):
I've assembled the more obvious ideas I've had / thought up for a few people to assist them with storm and flood damage. 

My family and I are from the Catskill Mountains and we keep the multi - generational DIY home improvement project going.  Three generations and counting!  Go see the Catskills Housefor more.  We were very fortunate in escaping damage to our buildings, just a little bit of washout. 


Now I know not everyone in the Catskill Moutains have the resources to hire professional help, either for work that must be filed, or just for some advice.  Those that can't afford it, as well as those that can.


EVERY property, home, building is unique, and how storms and floods can impact on them is just as unique.  It's not best to offer blanket solutions, so the examples that follow are based on real life situations.  They might work for you, might not, as I've said, be more than happy to help you figure out what will help you, work for you.


As I'm a big Do It Myselfer, often out of necessity.  Much of what I offer for advice can be done by those with muscle, will, a little money and time, if necessary over the generations.  Keeping work simple enough for a DIY'er also makes it easier to contract the work out, less specialized and expensive equipment and material.


Prattsville : A Modest Proposal To Bring It Back 


An ala carte menu of flood mitigation techniques and how to apply them to a whole town. 

All simple. 
All that can be phased in as money, will, and people power are available.
All preserve the town the fullest.

Now, a great plan has been developed to relocate the town.  It will however take decades, a hundred million dollars (really, I tallied it up, one of the things I can do pretty darn good), and turn a town with history into another small tract housing development.  If it ever happens.  NOLA is littered with paper from planned communities that never happened.

What follows are the bits and pieces that make up the proposal
Flood Barriers 

You can't STOP mother nature, but, if the only recourse is to try, here's some ideas on multipurpose and minimal impact barriers.  Multipurpose????  Yeah, why not!  You'll spend good money, time and effort on this, get something out of it everyday, not just during storms and floods.

Deflect natures fury -
You know, as in that classic TV show, Kung-Fu...

A deck that won't become kindling 20 miles downstream, will help limit flooding IN your home, and, last forever. 

Stabilizing embankments, stream banks, ditches, etc..
I like to integrate plants and shrubs into the front line of defense against water.  They can catch debries, naturally building up the barriers with little effort on my part.
Again, double duty from everything - a deck that deflects flooding, beautiful landscape and plants that deflect flooding.


Flood Safing Your Home

When you can't move, financially, emotionally, for whatever reason, it'd be really great to rebuild so at least clean up and recovery is as quick and easy as possible.

Rebuilding Your Home

Living with your parents and in-laws - Improving Living Conditions
Building a New Home - Start Small and Grow IT - On your own terms

What's the alternative if you lost your home?

Hopefully FEMA is paying for a temporary hotel or renting you an apartment. 
Yet I KNOW most of the hundreds who lost their homes aren't taking gov't aid and money, they are living with family and friends.
Fantastic in so many ways, but living with the family can be a bit tiring after a while.
Even worse, what if you have to make due with the half a house that's left livable?
Here's some ideas on how to improve your living conditions while getting your new home, which with insurance claims, can take a year or two.
There is an idea for fixing up what's left of your house and giving everyone a bit of space, which I believe is pretty important after a disaster.
That same set of ideas might help you squeeze into your extended families home until you can get back on your feet again living wise.
Finally, there are two examples of how to start on small with your new home, replacement home, reconstruction, etc., and then expand.  This might be all you can afford, or you might just want to wait and build as you can afford to, instead of taking out a mortgage and paying a bank 3 times what your house costs.

Should I Stay

Should I Go???????
Signs from Mother Nature that it's time to move on
1.  Has the water course moved closer to you (has it been doing this for a while?)?  Bad sign.
2.  Is the distance to the water less than the width of the watercourse during normal flows (ie, can  the stream easily double in width WITHOUT damaging your home)?  Poor sign.
3.  Are there a ton of logs and debries sitting in the watercourse waiting the right storm to form a dam and inundate you?  Poor sign.
4.  Has the bottom of the stream risen / the banks gotten lower, ie, not as far down to the water as it used to be?  Bad sign.
5.  How deep was the flood water at your home?  1 foot, you can work with that.  3 feet, getting dicey.  6 feet, ekk!, time to move, or you'll be, jacking the home up and might still very well loose to Mother Nature.  Dosen't matter how high you are if the water course is UNDER your home after the storm.