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Head Above Water:

Types of Flood Prevention and Protection Equipment

If you live or work in an area that is prone to flooding, protecting your home or office has to be of the utmost importance. Areas like New Orleans need to have protection against potential superstorms like Katrina. Engineers are working hard to ensure that no one will ever suffer like the residents of New Orleans did in 2005.

With innovative designs and fresh ideas, engineers like the ones in this blog are building products that will keep cities above the water. Even in places like New Orleans, where the city is in a low-lying area that makes it susceptible to natural disasters like flooding.

Instead of using precious resources to make new products, engineers have figured out how to repurpose old power equipment. Repurposing large industrial equipment like massive pumping station motors not only helps the residents better prepare for future disasters, it also keeps them out of landfills.

Improving on the sandbag

Along with repurposed pumping station motors, there are other interesting prevention and protection equipment being designed. Sandbags are one of the most used prevention-and-protection devices on the market today, but engineers are working on improving this archaic technology.

Some of the latest takes on sandbags includes

  • Making them out of absorbant material
  • Inflating them with air, rather than sand
  • Filling them with water to keep them stable

Innovative dynamic barriers

There are also barrier devices that move beyond just trying to block the water. One of the most innovative products is a barrier device that is dynamic, rather than just a static bag or sock with some type of filling.

A new product called a Water Gate actually relies on the flood waters to stop them as they approach homes, businesses, bridges, and other structures. This device is made of PVC and can be rolled out to block flood waters. It is more effective than sandbags and can be deployed by one person. It works kind of like a bib, to catch the water as it flows toward structures that you want to protect.

Barriers for homes and offices

Sandbags and gates are important for keeping water away from structures, but sometimes water gets through. Instead of worrying about water coming into your home, there are flood prevention devices called flood guards that you can place outside of your doors and windows. These devices are made of plastic and rubber. They can be permanently installed or put in place when storms are on the horizon. They have kept 1000s of homes dry.

Engineers have also developed interlocking flood protection blocks. Think giant Legos, but with a hole at the bottom that lets them fill with water. Turn the hole toward the flood and put the blocks in place. The giant blocks will stop the water in its tracks and contain it. These blocks are weighted so they will not float away or get pushed by the heavy water, too. Plus, filling them with water helps keep them in place.

Keep water out of your basement

There are several other places around the world that deal with minor flooding on a regular basis. One of the most common flood prevention devices is the sump pump. Too many basements are flooded each day because of failed sump pumps or because of a lack of them. If you live in a zone where flooded basements are common, you should have a sump pump installed and have a backup power source to support it.

Flooded basements are dangerous not because of drowning, but because of what is left behind when the water subsides. Flooded basements are notorious for mold infestations which can create serious health problems. Take charge of your basement and keep the mold away with a sump pump and generator.

Add an alarm

If you have a washing machine or water heater in your basement, flooding could happen. Especially when you least expect it. So you know when water is getting on your basement floor, you can have an alarm installed. Portable water alarms will send you a message when any bit of water ends up on your basement floor. There are plenty of good reasons to place them around your basement, as they will warn you about

  • Leaky appliances
  • Rainwater in the basement
  • Sump pump failure
  • Overflowing toilets or sinks
  • Sewer backups

Portable alarms are inexpensive and they run on single batteries. When the battery gets low, they will chirp to warn you that its time to change them. Even though they are electronic devices, the electronics are protected if water does get to them. They are so sensitive that they will warn you if moisture gets excessive in your basement, which can happen well before any standing water appears. These little alarms do not need to be installed, you simply place them where you worry that water might flow.

Automatic shutoff devices

Another useful tool that will protect your home from floods is an automatic shutoff device. You can have them attached to your dishwasher or washing machine. These little devices are attached to the power source for your appliances. If the appliances leak, the device shuts off the power at the source. This is a great option for anyone who wants to protect their property from water damage.

There are also automatic shutoff devices that will turn off the water at the source. These are designed to keep the water in your toilet or your sinks in the toilet and sink. There are also devices that will watch the water levels in your plumbing and will turn off the water if the levels get too high.

These devices are designed to give you peace of mind so you can focus on what matters, rather than what you are worried about. The whole-house water shut-off device can be used to turn off the water when you leave for vacation or for other extended periods of time. They are good choices for anyone who owns a home and wants to keep it safe from water damage.


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