4

Our home is prone to occasional flooding during the rainy season. There was only one time in 26 years where our home was devastated by the flood reaching up to half of the 2nd floor. This destroyed so much of our things such as our car, electronics, furniture, documents, and etc. Other than that, there are a few instances of flooding that reaches only a few inches into the home but it was also rare.

I am considering buying quite an expensive monitor, CPU, and printer but I am thinking that rainy season just arrived and I am afraid they will just get destroyed. The only way I can be reassured I can buy these if I can find some kind of storage solution that if I place my appliances/electronics in them, there is an almost 100% certainty that water will not be able to enter and damage the objects in case it gets submerged (assume the entire thing is submerged for hours to days).

I have looked for flood bags, but all I can see everywhere are either sandbags or sandbag-like fibres that absorb water and create a barrier to prevent water from entering, but these are surely only for mild flooding. If it is on the scale where it will reach the items of value, it will be a massive flood thus a watertight storage solution is the answer.

I have been looking but I cannot seem to find any good solution. I am thinking of something like a garbage bag, but I know garbage bags are not the best choice as they are not watertight despite having several layers of them

  • 1
    Can you clarify - are you looking for something watertight to be used as the water's rising, or something to permanently put things in so they'll be protected if you're not home? Anything watertight will also be airtight and your computer & monitor will quickly cook if left running in them.... (Plus, cables will have to exit the container and they'll be hard to seal around.) As a simple solution, put the computer on the 2nd floor where it's unlikely to be flooded. Also, be sure you have an offsite backup of anything remotely important! – FreeMan Jun 24 at 15:27
  • 1
    It's the 1st option where when we are anticipating the flood, we will place the vulnerable items in a watertight container to prevent the flood from damaging them. This means the computer will be unplugged and cables removed. The simple solution is indeed to move to the 2nd floor which we always do, but if there is another greater flood given the rising sea level then we may end up with destroyed appliances so I was hoping there would be a more safer alternative and have a watertight bag or something – Pherdindy Jun 24 at 15:30
  • 2
    I think "dry box" is the term you want to search for. I'm sure you'll find many manufacturers, sizes and concepts. I do agree with @DanielGriscom that this may get closed as a shopping recommendation, but I think your question is general enough to stand. – FreeMan Jun 24 at 15:37
  • 1
    The first two options, in order of preference, that come to mind are "move to higher ground" and "raise the house on stilts." Dry Bags are probably the most compact and affordable solution to the actual question, followed by "dry boxes" not infrequently also referred to as "ammo cans" since the militaries of the world use some sort of rugged (and mass produced, and frequently easily found surplus as they only use them once) dry box to keep their powder (ammunition, aka ammo) dry. Photography suppliers will have more expensive plastic versions. Realize that your dry items can still float away. – Ecnerwal Jun 24 at 17:22
  • 2
    I don't think this is a shopping question in that the OP is not asking about a specific product but more like a type of container or guidance on how they could construct something suitable. People might choose to answer with a very specific recommendation but I'm not sure that should affect how the question in perceived... – UuDdLrLrSs Jun 25 at 12:02
10

While this borders on being a "shopping recommendation" question, I think a "dry box" or "dry bag" is what you're looking for.

These are often used by backpackers, rafters, kayakers, etc. to keep their items dry when out in the wilderness. Obviously, you'll need something larger than those folks will use because they usually don't take large items with them. However, once you're on the right track, you should be able to find a supplier that makes bigger ones.

You may also look at a waterproof travel or shipping case. People who take photographic or other expensive gear need sturdy, waterproof cases to protect the gear, so that's another avenue of research for you.

Finally, while I realize that a "century flood" can happen at any time, if you've only had your 2nd floor flood once in 26 years, it seems that moving the most critical items up to the 2nd floor is going to be your best bet when the waters start to rise. If you have an attic, reserve "emergency storage space" up there and you'll be above the areas you've had flooded while you've been in the house.

While it's a major hassle, your home insurance (especially if you have specified flood insurance) should replace any items destroyed in the flood, so unless the items have sentimental value and can't be replaced, I wouldn't go too overboard.

Finally, I'll reiterate my statement from the comment to be sure to have an offsite backup of any critical (or valuable/irreplaceable) computer data (like family photos/videos). This isn't the place to discuss that (hit up Super User.SE for info on that), but hard drives die, even if they haven't been swimming.

| improve this answer | |
  • Regarding computer data: If you remove the hard drive from your computer, it's rather small and it should fit into any waterproof box you can find. – user253751 Jun 25 at 9:27
  • or set up a NAS device in the attic where its safe and still accessible on your home network. – Maaark Jun 25 at 10:43
  • @Maaark attics are often quite hot. Computers don't like hot environments - that could be almost as bad on the hardware as the water OP's trying to protect against. We're quite off-topic, now, so...</discussion> – FreeMan Jun 25 at 10:45

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.