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How to Prevent Flooding in Low-Lying Areas

How to Prevent Flooding in Low-Lying Areas

How to Prevent Flooding in Low-Lying Areas

Water always flows downhill. Consequently, low-lying regions are far more likely to experience severe flooding than more elevated areas. While keeping floods from ever happening is completely impossible, we can and should take measures to minimize the amount of flooding that does occur and prevent extensive damages.

Flood prevention is an interesting science because it’s very difficult to truly prevent a flood from ever occurring. The best we can do is understand which areas are prone to flooding and why, as well as find methods to hold back huge amounts of water. Let’s take a look at how to prevent flooding in low-lying areas.

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Permanent Solutions

Where exactly are the floodwaters coming from? If a nearby river tends to overflow or a lower portion of land fills up quickly in heavy rain, try to give the water somewhere else to go. Drainage systems can divert floodwaters to other bodies of water or to pre-prepared spaces set aside for water retention. More ambitious projects could include constructing dams to control nearby rivers or building walls to prevent water from spreading too far.

Temporary Solutions

If a flood is on the way, there’s no time to construct a dam or dig drainage systems. For a quick method of flood protection, consider an inflatable cofferdam like the Aqua-Barrier. This balloon-like dam fills with water and creates an airtight seal along the ground to keep up to 5 feet of water at bay. Once the floodwaters drain, simply deflate the cofferdam and store it out of the way. This strategy will keep your property safe while you plan for a more permanent solution.

Pro Tip: In addition to flood prevention strategies, make sure you’re prepared for other potential issues. Double-check your flood insurance coverage and make sure important documents are stowed in waterproof containers.

Long-Term Planning

Structures and cofferdams will hold back floodwaters, but for a more sustainable solution, develop a long-term plan to reduce flood risk and minimize damage. Maybe a nearby riverbank is eroding away and allowing water to escape. In this case, focus on soil conservation and shoreline restoration. Improve your local flood warning system if you can and stay aware of how your climate and elevation can put you in an at-risk area.

Keeping Flood Damage to a Minimum

Regular floods are an unfortunate part of life for many parts of the world. Thankfully, there are solutions. Local communities should focus their efforts on developing methods to block the water and be ready to handle floods when they do occur.

Connect with us for more information on flood prevention and protection.

Top 4 Dangers of Flood Water

Top 4 Dangers of Flood Water

In the midst of a heavy storm or aftermath of a hurricane, flooding presents a number of dangers to consider. One major problem is the adverse effects of pollution on floodwater. From infectious diseases to toxic fumes, your health is put at risk. With the many dangers of flood water, it’s important for you to think twice before wading through any flooded areas.

Walking in floodwaters isn’t safe! Protect yourself against these potential health hazards by limiting your contact. #HSIServices #AquaBarrier Click To Tweet

How is Flooding Unsafe?

Floodwater picks up an impressive collection of everything it touches as it spreads. Trash, oil, insects, snakes, biological waste, and more are just a handful of the hidden hazards just below the surface. Here are a few other ways floodwater can put you in danger:

  1. Infection of open wounds
  2. Toxic spread of chemicals
  3. Increase of ants and poisonous insects
  4. Force of rushing water

1) Infection of Open Wounds

Floods often carry waste from sewers or farms, filling the water with all sorts of nasty bacteria. Even floodwaters that haven’t picked up biohazards can contain potentially dangerous bacteria, especially legionella, which can give you a potentially deadly strain of pneumonia. Any of these bacteria-ridden hazards could infect an open wound, even a tiny cut, if you walk into floodwaters. Don’t take that risk.

2) Toxic Spread of Chemicals

Plenty of vehicles leak oil or other engine fluids on a regular basis. Floodwaters pick up that residue and spread it everywhere. A damaged gas station leaking fuel only contributes to this contamination. You never know what chemicals standing water picked up on its way to settle near you–play it safe and don’t let yourself get contaminated.

Pro Tip: Flooding brings dangerous aquatic creatures–especially snakes–uncomfortably close to you. Avoid entering standing water to keep yourself safe.

3) Increase of Ants and Poisonous Insects

You’re probably familiar with the fascinating but terrifying way fire ants survive floods: they group up into a floating mass of ants that drifts on the floodwaters for days or weeks until they reach something they can climb onto. It goes without saying that these islands of ants are extremely dangerous if they come in contact with humans. From a distance, these “rafts” can look like debris, making it difficult to know how much danger you’re in. The best strategy is to avoid the water altogether and stay away from debris. However, if you do find yourself covered in fire ants after accidentally touching a mound, brush them off as quickly as you can. Don’t jump in the water to wash them off–they can survive for a long time without drowning.

A less terrifying but also dangerous hazard is the increased presence of mosquitoes. Mosquitoes breed in water, and as floodwaters spread, their breeding grounds become massive and allow many more than normal to appear. Widespread floods could expose you to mosquitoes that carry dangerous diseases, and treatment can be hard to find following a severe storm. Keep insect spray close by and try to wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants to give the mosquitoes fewer places to bite.

4) Force of Rushing Water

According to NOAA, a mere six inches of rushing water can knock an adult down and 1-2 feet of water can stall and sweep away most cars. Don’t let the site of shallow water lull you into a false sense of security. Currents are deadly. Keep children out of the water and never walk in floodwaters yourself, even if they look shallow enough to be safe.

Limit Your Exposure to Floodwater

When we’re faced with flash floods or major storms, it can be difficult to stay healthy during the cleanup process. Don’t forget to wash your hands with antibacterial soap or wear protective clothing to ensure your safety. Additionally, make sure you have a reliable way to protect against flooding so that you can minimize your risk of illness or injury.

Connect with our flood protection experts for the best solution to keep hazardous water away from your property.

Installation Guide for Your Flood Barrier

Installation Guide for Your Flood Barrier

In the event of a severe storm, having a way to keep rising water levels from your property is necessary on all accounts. Our specially designed flood barrier, namely the Aqua-Barrier, is proven to keep flood-prone areas from suffering water damage. Discover the basics of our flood barrier installation methods with this overview.

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How to Install the Aqua-Barrier

Designed to withstand high pressure and rising water levels, the Aqua-Barrier can be installed in a few different ways. While most applications take less than 24-hours from start to finish, the condition of your commercial property is a factor to consider. Is there water already flowing or not? Keep in mind what scenario you might find yourself in, and then plan accordingly.

  1. Moving Water
  2. Standing Water
  3. Dry Land

1) Moving Water

In a situation where water is flowing or rising, it’s important to have a way to maintain control of your barrier system. Otherwise, strong water currents can sweep your barrier downstream, causing damaging consequences. Use a piece of hydraulic equipment such as a track hoe or crane to properly place your barrier in the water. Once inflated, the track hoe or crane can be used as an anchor to keep your barrier steady.

2) Standing Water

During a flood event, it may be necessary to install a flood protection barrier at the perimeter of a body of water. In a lake or culvert where water is static, barriers can be installed without any shoreline anchor. Due to the buoyancy of the industrial-grade vinyl, your crew can simply unroll the water barrier at any location. Once the fill ports are opened to allow water in, your water barrier will stabilize in position.

Pro Tip: If you’re installing more than one barrier, maintain control by staggering the full inflation of each barrier until all are overlapped and unrolled.

3) Dry Land

For most commercial properties, installing an Aqua-Barrier will more than likely not involve water being present. However, iI’s important to install your barrier in advance to keep flood water from entering your building. On dry land, simply unroll your barrier and create a type of flood wall around your property. To inflate your barrier, attach a pump connected to a nearby water source into one of the fill ports.

Speak with Our Experts

Being prepared for any scenario is important, especially when flood control is concerned. Depending on your actual applications, how you choose to install your Aqua-Barrier can vary significantly. As a property owner, it’s important for you to know how to skillfully use your flood protection products to minimize flood damage.

For specific installation procedures tailored to your environment, connect with one of our trained HSI Services representatives.

Best Alternatives to Sandbags for Flooding

Best Alternatives to Sandbags for Flooding

Having a reliable way to prevent water damage is crucial for any property owner. You may find it difficult to choose a reliable flood protector amidst the different options currently on the market. While sandbags have been used for many years, the effectiveness of preventing flooding has caused owners to look elsewhere. Find the top alternatives to sandbags for guarding against flooding in your area.

Sandbags aren’t always the best solution for flooding. Protect your home reliably with these sandbag alternatives instead. Click To Tweet

Sandbags are a tried-and-true method of flood protection and are still the first choice for many people in flood-prone areas. However, are they really worth it? Why stick with sandbags when there are far more effective and environmentally friendly options on the market?

Disadvantages of Sandbags

By their very nature, sandbags can’t form a completely impenetrable wall. A few gaps may still be present, allowing some floodwater to seep through. But the real problem with sandbags is what to do with them after the flood waters recede. Floodwater often contains hazardous materials such as oil, sewage, and other dangerous substances that come in contact with sandbags, contaminating them. Strict regulations govern exactly how and where you can dispose of used sandbags. This method of flood protection might end up costing you more in cleanup alone than switching to a more viable alternative.

Pro Tip: Used sandbags must be handled as hazardous waste, making more work for you and potentially harming the surrounding environment. Try a reusable method of flood protection instead.

Inflatable Water Dams

With a flood on the way, no one has the time to build a concrete or steel wall for protection. That’s why a quickly inflatable option like the Aqua-Barrier provides a viable solution. The Aqua-Barrier can be fully deployed and inflated in less than three hours, making it a fast solution to keep floodwaters away from your property. 

Metal Flood Barriers

Less severe floods may not require measures as drastic as the Aqua-Barrier, but your business still needs protection. Why not set up easily installed metal dams over your doors? The EZDam blocks 3-4 feet of floodwater and fits snugly over a standard-sized doorway. The watertight seal keeps the flood outside of your business. Once the rain stops, simply move the dams out of the way to open the doors again!

Protecting Against Flood Damage

Now that hurricane season has kicked into high gear, the threat of flash floods is ever increasing. Don’t hesitate to invest in a flood protection solution for your property. Being prepared ahead of time is one of the best ways to minimize damage to your assets and keep your buildings safe.

Connect with our sales team to find a flood solution customized for your environment.

Hurricane Preparedness Guide for Your Business

Hurricane Preparedness Guide for Your Business

Staying safe during hurricane season is important for both big and small businesses. The best way to prepare for any tropical storm or hurricane headed your way is by planning ahead. Ensure the continued protection of your employees and property assets with this guide to hurricane preparedness.

Now that hurricane season is in full swing, it’s time to start preparing your business for a potential storm! Click To Tweet

According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), “Preparedness is everyone’s responsibility.” While certain measures might be made by your governing authorities, it’s ultimately your priority to protect your business. If major flooding occurred in your area, having the right tools and equipment should be done in advance. Get your business prepared for this year’s hurricane season with the following recommendations.

Evaluate Any Potential Risks

To ensure proper planning, It’s important for you to know how your business could be affected by major weather storms. What scenarios would you face if your business activities were paused or disrupted due to a severe storm? Based on questions from FEMA’s Back-to-Business Self Assessment, you may experience:

  • Not having access to office or computer equipment
  • Loss of utilities such as gas, electricity, internet, or water
  • Having to pay your employees on a limited business income
  • Obstructed roadways making it impossible for your employees to commute
  • Disruption of your regular business processes
  • Storm damage to your property or equipment

Make an Emergency Plan

With an accurate view of your business’s risks, you can better prepare for an incoming storm. Consult with local officials and your employees to formulate an emergency plan that is customized for your business. Every business has different dynamics to consider, such as your location, types of services, and equipment handling. That being said, the goal of any emergency plan is to keep your employees safe and ensure business continuity.

Consider implementing the following safety measures:

  • Backing up data or storing it on a cloud for easy access
  • Storing important documents in airtight containers
  • Mapping evacuation routes
  • Installing storm shutters or flood-barriers
  • Investing in a first-aid emergency kit
  • Setting up a communication tool for employees

Pro Tip: Move any equipment to higher ground or away from windows to guard against damage from rising flood water.

Pay Attention to Weather Alerts

In the days before a hurricane strikes, local news forecasts can help to give you a clear picture of the storm’s path and severity. However, circumstances can change in a matter of days, or in many cases, hours before a storm hits. Make sure you have a way to keep a tab on current weather conditions so that you can plan accordingly. Whether you need to send your employees home early or gather extra supplies, staying up to date will keep both you and your team safe.

Preparing Your Business

The power of hurricanes can’t be underestimated. With high winds ranging from 74 mph or higher, the impact of a hurricane on your business could be catastrophic. Make sure you have the proper plans and flood protection equipment in place to get ready for any storms headed your way.

Not sure where to start? Connect with our team to determine how you should be preparing for a major tropical storm or hurricane.