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Currently being at an international conference, I was able to talk to someone who is in higher education about the situations run into per ‘frontier’ conditions.  She spoke of living in a smaller city in Australia, and similar to those who live on the Yukon River during breakup here in the ‘Last Frontier’, she described the annual resignation to the 2 weeks of seasonal rains that force people to stop traveling until the flooding has stopped.

This is not far from the reality of what those in villages up river experience when around late March they box things up in their log homes that are built on the ground (typically the Yukon Flats area) and put them all up on ~2.5 foot wide shelves which are stabilized about 2 foot from the ceiling. When the river is clear of ice jams and the danger of major flooding is over the boxes come down, are unpacked, residents can be more mobile once again.  The Australian educator I spoke with mentioned that when their two weeks of immobilizing rains end, then  travel resume.

Of course it’s the times when rains or river ice suddenly bust open (especially while people are sleeping or when they do not expect the annual events) which leads to disaster recovery needs- and possibly evacuation with an emergency kit in some cases.  The  miles and miles of ice dammed up in Galena in May 2013 wasn’t unheard of, but it was the sudden shifting and release that caused people to evacuate, have their power plant fill up with several feet of water and made for very hasty evacuations.

In rural Australia or Alaska,  remote  communities can at times be ‘stopped’, isolated  from river or air travel and faced with problems well beyond inconveniences of cancelled school for kids.  The key is to have prepared.  That would be getting the physical structure prepped as well as can be expected ahead of the disaster so that it stays intact and allows for a quick clean up and relocation of major items  (how water heaters, drawers china hutches/cabinets, etc…} once the  earthquake, tsunami, or seasonal  flooding runs out of the area. (And of course, the other piece of preparation is having an emergency evacuation kit stocked and ready to go at all times with seven days of supplies for each member and pet in the home).

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