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Chapter 6: The Prepared Citizen: Are You Ready?

A Riverside Resident Prepares for Floods

In this chapter, we meet a riverside resent who uses several methods to monitor his flood risk and react appropriately.

John Mauser lives on the banks of the Delaware River about 13 miles upstream of Easton.

John is a retired math teacher, environmentalist, historian, and an avid fisherman. If you spend any time with him at his house you can tell that he also loves the river. This is good – because sometimes they can have a very close relationship. Since he moved there in 1993, John and his wife, Suzanne, have experienced 4 major floods on the Delaware.

John has some advantages over other homes near him. His primary living area is 32 feet above the normal flow of the river and the lower level is 24 feet above the normal flow. He has lost a deck, dock system, and railing in the four floods and had about $3,500 damage – a lot less than some neighbors that have spent as much as $60,000 to $80,000 or more on flood repairs and/or flood proofing.

John is unique in many ways but what sets him apart from others we’ve seen is his absolute diligence in using all the tools available to prepare for the next flood:

    John monitors the overall weather.

    He checks the National Weather Service AHPS site for river levels if rainfall hits the upper watershed.

    He has a detailed written plan for what has to happen at each level as the water comes up.

    He knows his evacuation route.

    He’s been through the four events in recent years (1996, 2004, 2005, & 2006) and refined his plans.

Discussion Questions:

6Qa If someone has not been through a flood, is it realistic for them to really be prepared? Can you answer this question both ways?

6Qb: What steps are you taking to reduce your risk of loss during a flood?

Click here for a Family Go-Kit checklist.

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