Lessons We All Can Learn from the Recent Texas Floods

May 29, 2015

Kelly Potter

Kelly Potter

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Over 2,000 people were forced to leave their homes last Sunday because of the record rainfall that hit parts of the Mid-West. Widespread flooding in Texas, Oklahoma, and northern Mexico have caused at least 35 casualties — 14 in northern Mexico, 15 in Texas and six in Oklahoma — because of tornadoes and flooding from raging rivers. Reporters have also recorded 4,000 damaged properties and 2,500 abandoned vehicles in the Houston area.

Texas Governor, Greg Abbott said that the disaster declarations in the state stretch from literally the Red River to the Rio Grande. Floodwaters have affected every part of Houston and firefighters carried out more than 500 water rescues due to massive flooding.

Unfortunately, the storms will continue for the next five to six days in Houston and northern parts of the state, including Dallas, where they are expected to receive two to four inches of additional rain. The storm yesterday spawned a tornado and injured three people on an oil rig with no easy way to get them to a hospital. Ambulances have been driving through mud while tornadoes drop around them to get people to safety.

Many homes are continuing to be evacuated, and firefighters continue to look for missing persons and clean up the devastating flood damage. Houston is emphasizing the importance of flood prevention and ways to help secure yourself and your belongings.

Nine Preventive Measures to Protect Your Home from Floods

Texas’s population continues to grow in cities along rivers that are prone to flooding, and residents are looking for solutions to help get them through these natural disasters. Texas leaves it to the individual cities and counties to protect themselves against flooding because they currently do not have a flood plain management plan in place.

Below are nine steps to protect your home from water damage:

  1. Fix leaks within ceilings or roofs that could cause mold damage on your infrastructure
  2. Replacement roofs – Install a rubber roof and a waterproof barrier that goes under the shingles to protect the roof from water intrusion
  3. Close foundation cracks with mortar and masonry caulk or hydraulic cement
  4. Clean gutters and drains
  5. Invest in a battery-powered sump pump allowing for water to be pumped out of the home
  6. Move expensive items to a safer location
  7. Elevate furnaces and water pumps 12 inches above highest known flood level in your area
  8. Anchor your fuel tanks as non-anchored tanks can float, rupture, and release fuel
  9. Prevent sewer backup
  10. Install French drains if you live on a slope as they collect water in your yard and diverts it safely away from your home

Residents can better prepare themselves against Mother Nature using these tactics on their home, and by creating a “Go-Bag,” that includes: clothing, food, water, and toiletries to last a family a few days without access to these supplies.

Facility Maintenance Preparations for Natural Disasters

Natural disasters are unpredictable, so we know there isn’t a ton of time to prepare asset management. Time needs to be used effectively and not spent on trying to fix an aging problem .

Here are a few steps to help your asset management service:

  1. Perform periodic inspections for erosion and schedule repairs
  2. Schedule and perform preventive maintenance on assets that are affected by corrosion to increase longevity
  3. Check all assets located outdoors periodically before and after severe weather strikes

In order to properly gauge your asset management you need a proper CMMSCMMS allows you to record the location, date of installation, and cost of all your assets. Once the asset details are loaded into the database, assets can be scheduled for inspections, preventive maintenance, and perform necessary repairs on any tasks needed.

CMMS can also generate checklists for natural disasters showing levels changing because of flood waters rising. Operators can then store and use this information for future flood plan prevention.

We all wish the communities affected by these flood waters a fast recovery.

Kelly Potter

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