S1E114 – Colin on Flood Plains and Water Damage

Episode Summary

This week on Live Like the World is Dying, Colin and Brooke talk about flooding, water damage, and how to avoid having your home damaged by those things.

Guest Info

Colin (he/him) is a carpenter, industrial electrician, and backpacker.

Host Info

Brooke can be found on Twitter or Mastodon @ogemakweBrooke.

Publisher Info

This show is published by Strangers in A Tangled Wilderness. We can be found at www.tangledwilderness.org, or on Twitter @TangledWild and Instagram @Tangled_Wilderness. You can support the show on Patreon at www.patreon.com/strangersinatangledwilderness.


Live Like the World is Dying: Colin on Flood Plains and Water Damage

**Brooke ** 00:15
Hello and welcome to Live Like the World is Dying, your podcast for what feels like the end times. I’m Brooke Jackson, your host for this episode. And today our friend Colin is joining us again, this time to talk about flooding and dealing with water damage. But first we’d like to celebrate being a member of the Channel Zero Network of anarchist podcasts by playing a little jingle from one of the other podcasts on the network. Doo doo jingo here!

**Brooke ** 01:40
And we’re back. Colin, thank you for joining us again today. And this time to talk about dealing with floods and water damage. Would you remind your pronouns, where you hail from if you want, and a bit about your background?

**Colin ** 01:52
Yeah, my name is Colin, he him. I’m from Pittsburgh. And I’ve been a contractor sort of on and off for the last about 20 years, as well as working in the power plants and industrial electricity, and sort of in and around industry for about the second half of my life. And, yeah, it’s, I’m glad to talk about floods, because it’s one of those things we’re seeing more and more. And unfortunately, it’s probably going to happen to pretty much everybody who’s listening to this podcast at some point in their life in one form or another.

**Brooke ** 02:27
Yeah. And we’ve talked about flooding on the podcast before. I don’t know that we’ve ever done a whole episode on it by any means. But it has definitely come up as we’ve talked about news and other major events. And you and I even talked about it when we did our first episode, a little bit. So I think it’s—itll be good to dig into, you know, a nice reminder of what to do and not to do in a flood. And then also, I don’t think we’ve ever talked much about flood recovery. So I’m excited to learn and teach more about that today. I wanted to share one of my own stories about flooding, if you don’t mind me kicking off with that before we get into all the do’s and don’ts and how tos.

**Colin ** 03:12
Yeah go for it.

**Brooke ** 03:13
Okay, cool.

**Colin ** 03:14
Everybody’s got one of those stories.

**Brooke ** 03:16
Seems like it. Well, when I was growing up in the 90s, there was a major flooding event where I live. My hometown. It was built around a river, which of course is true of most older cities, right, because access to fresh water is critical for survival. And then there are also a lot of creeks that run through my town and feed into the river. And I live in the Pacific Northwest and it rains a whole lot here. So we’re kind of accustomed to having occasional sudden and heavy downpours and the possibility of some rainwater pooling or briefly flooding. It’s not uncommon. But this particular event when I was a teenager was something else. It was a really complicated set of weather events that led to it. But the important part is that, so the creeks that are all over town are overflowing. And then the river, it doubled its level on the first day of the heavy rains. And then within the next two days had crashed at its banks, and then for three days after that remained at flood levels. So the city’s downtown area, for instance, it’s fairly flat, it’s right along the river, and most of the homes there have basements. So in addition to streets flooding, the basements flooded, filled with water. There were houses that got washed off their foundations, of course cars got washed away. And then even in other parts of town where there wasn’t, you know they were more on the hills or what have you, there was so much water in the ground that it caused foundational issues to a lot of houses because the pressure of the water pushing on home foundations are running around it. And there had been an ice event right before the rain started that had caused his damage to a lot of pipes. So there were pipes that were bursting and breaking because they’d been weakened or already had broken because of the ice storm. And it led to all this flooding. And it’s interesting as I’ve grown up in the town and come back to it as adult, that the damage of this event, the way it’s imprinted itself on the psyche of the city, even my mom, when she comes back to visit will drive around, she’ll go, oh, you know, such and such creek looks a little high today. You know, this creek is, you know, she always looks around at all the creeks to see where the waters levels are kind of this caution about how high is the water. Like, are we in danger of having some kind of event again. And anyone that lived here, you know, had or knew someone that had some kind of really severe damage or loss because of that flood. So that’s really imprinted into my psyche because, of course, I was still a young person at the time this happened. And it’s really impactful to me. So when we talk about flooding, it’s like, oh, yeah, that was one of the major traumatic events of my youth, at least collectively in my society or my, you know, my town.

**Colin ** 06:13
Yeah, that’s actually a really common situation you describe, of having an ice event or cold weather and then a warm front comes through, drops several inches of rain onto frozen ground, there’s nowhere for it to go, and it just goes straight into rivers. Like you’re seeing that more and more and that’s actually exactly what I was gonna open with is that, with climate change, even if you’re not living in someplace like Charleston, or Miami, or one of the other low lying areas that everybody knows is at risk for flooding either from rising ocean levels or because you’re in a major floodplain. Just having these wild swings in temperature and rainfall makes flooding a much bigger issue. It’s like living in Pittsburgh, it seems like we don’t get mild old rains anymore, we either get four inches right now, or nothing. So it’s not the, like, nice, gentle soaking rains that I remember from being a kid, it’s like everything comes in a burst. And when that happens, dry ground does not soak up water nearly as well as slightly damp ground. So dropping lots of rain onto parched ground, you end up with lots of run off, and even though it’s very, very dry, you end up with massive flooding.

**Brooke ** 07:35
Yeah, one of our cohosts and one of the collective members was—we were talking about it and she was describing, like, if you go to water your garden and you haven’t watered your garden in a while, and like the first water that you put on, it kind of rolls off. It takes it a minute to actually, like, settle and sink in, and then it’s easier to water the ground. And it’s the same kind of thing with these flooding events which I, you know, had never thought about but can picture in my mind how that, oh yeah, how that happens, how that works. So it’s, you know, we’re at risk of flooding for so many different reasons than ever we were before because of super dryness or, you know, I feel like we’ve seen more atmospheric rivers in the news as well. Maybe I’m just paying more attention, but that seems to becoming more common too.

**Colin ** 08:26
Yeah, and with the big events, like, there is a definite limit on how much you can really do to prepare yourself short of just moving to someplace where these things don’t happen, you know. Somebody told me, water always wins.

**Brooke ** 08:44

**Colin ** 08:45
You’re not going to beat it. It’s heavy, it’s powerful, and if it wants to come into your house, you’re gonna have a really hard time stopping it.

**Brooke ** 08:56

**Colin ** 08:57
You know, you can fight back against the inch or two, but if nine feet of water comes knocking at your front door, you’re not gonna win.

**Brooke ** 09:06
Sure, but surely there are some things that we could do that would, you know, maybe help prevent the smaller amounts of water or help make it less bad, yeah?

**Colin ** 09:16
Oh, yeah, definitely. And especially if you’re in one of the areas like sounds like you are, or like I am in Pittsburgh, where there’s enough terrain that I’m not worried about a flood filling up the valley nine feet deep, because if that happens, you know, we have bigger problems. The issue is more, you know, an inch or two of water flowing along the surface running down the street, coming across the yard and down to the basement steps. Like that kind of stuff you can defend against, and it’s really not that hard to do. But it takes a lot of preparation and, particularly if you’re in an area where this has simply never happened before, it’s very easy for that to catch everyone off guard. Sounds like that’s the situation with the floods you described was this was what used to be a what they call, you know, a 100 year storm.

**Brooke ** 10:07
Uh huh, uh huh!

**Colin ** 10:09
Now the 100 year storms are happening every six months or so.

**Brooke ** 10:13
Yeah, well, we haven’t, you know, had another one quite like that since the 90s. But also, I know that a lot of, you know, houses and whatnot are much better setup for it, you know. For instance, the downtown houses that got basements flooded so badly, a lot of them—I want to say all of them, but that might not be true—had sump pumps installed after that. And, you know, I would hope that many of those houses have done a good job of maintaining those pumps. Which, you know, I think probably wouldn’t prevent the kind of flooding from the storm that we had back in the 90s, but would certainly help, you know, mitigate a smaller storm or recover from it more quickly. Whereas they didn’t have them before that that wasn’t a common thing.

**Colin ** 11:04
Right, and it doesn’t really take very much water in a basement to cause major problems. You don’t need three feet of standing water in your basement to ruin your day. Just an inch or two is enough to really mess things up, especially if it happens to an entire town and everyone is dealing with it at the same time. The disaster recovery services that’re around to help out when that happens to one or two people can’t handle it when it’s suddenly 5000 people that all have the exact same problem. There’s just not the capacity and you’re going to be more or less on your own to at least get through, you know, a few days to a week before they can get around to helping you out. Again, with the idea of triage, like just trying to buy yourself a little bit of time before all the services come back online.

**Brooke ** 11:53
My former husband worked for drain plumbing company that went around and did a lot of those installations of sump pumps and it was, like, a couple of years he worked for them and that was basically what he did. And it took, yeah, that long to get them installed in that many houses. It was a long—and that wasn’t even just the recovery from the flood, but that was helping, you know, prevent it with things in the in the future. But yeah, a very long time. For sure.

**Colin ** 12:28
Yeah, so just to kind of dive right into it.

**Brooke ** 12:30
Yes please!

**Colin ** 12:31
The first step in trying to prepare yourself a little bit better than you are is to just walk around the house and take a quick assessment of sort of where and how water can get in. Four big ones: the obvious one is rain. Things like, make sure your roof is intact, make sure your gutters work.

**Brooke ** 12:55
Windows? Doors?

**Colin ** 12:55
Windows, doors, but they’re usually fine. Water hits those and runs off, and if water is trying to come in your door, you’re already—it’s already too late. Then surface water this is things like grading around the house to make sure that the water doesn’t get too close, and any water that does get close goes away. After that is below grade water, so this is, you know, what you’re talking about, where the ground was so saturated the pressure of the water in the ground pushing against foundations damaged the foundations. And then you also mentioned the last one which is one that gets overlooked which is burst pipes. You have water in your house all the time, it’s just normally it stays inside the pipes where it belongs, until those pipes freeze, and then it ends up places that you really don’t want it.

**Brooke ** 13:44
Yeah. Can the pipes break from flooding, like that water pressure that damaged foundations, I imagine that could also damage then piping—pipe systems.

**Colin ** 13:59
Yes. When the ground gets soft and has more flexibility in it—usually not just the water in the ground itself, but because the ground is softer—if you live in an area that has lots of hills, you end up with a higher risk of landslides and things shifting and that will definitely break water mains.

**Brooke ** 14:17

**Colin ** 14:17
That happens a lot in California.

**Brooke ** 14:20

**Colin ** 14:20
Where you get—you get heavy rain combined with landslide and now you have additional, either just people not having water because the mains are broken, or you have the mains flooding a section of a town because there’s spewing water out.

**Brooke ** 14:35
Yeah, it’s not just the dirt that moved, it’s all the shit that’s in the dirt, like the pipes! [Laughing]

**Colin ** 14:43
And that’s another thing complicating factor with floods is that usually flooding is not a disaster that happens by itself. It comes with loss of electricity, loss of water, loss of gas, because all these things are buried in the ground.

**Brooke ** 14:58
Yeah. Okay, now, you must and floods and we have said this several times on this podcast and we’ll say it many more: don’t go into the water. If it’s flooding, stay out of the floodwater.

**Brooke ** 15:09
I’m glad to hear that your puppy is joining us again on this episode.

**Colin ** 15:09
Yes, that was my very first point before we even got into talking about any of the, you know, how to deal with things like rain surface water is, like I said before, you know, when you’re in a disaster, there’s always a way that you can make it worse. So don’t don’t get sick and don’t get hurt. Floodwater is full of mud, trash, sewage. It’s usually cloudy and turbid, so you can’t see what’s down there. The risk of you stepping on something or kicking something is really high. So just don’t go into it if you don’t have to. And if you have to wear rubber gloves, wear boots, try to keep it off your skin as much as you possibly can. Most people probably have some kind of rubber boots in their home, I would hope. If you don’t, they’re cheap, I’d recommend keeping a pair around. The one thing that people probably don’t think about is rubber gloves—even dishwashing gloves are fine for keeping the water away from your skin, but they’re not very sturdy. So if you’re doing work in floodwater, put on rubber gloves, and then put on some kind of regular work glove overtop of that to protect the rubber, and make sure that barrier stays intact. Just the inexpensive knit work gloves from like Harbor Freight or something like that, that are $1 a piece. It’s all you need. All you’re trying to do is keep that robber from getting cut by sharp things in the water when you’re handling them. [Dog barking]

**Colin ** 16:40
Yes. There’s somebody outside that doesn’t belong there, clearly. It’s probably the mailman

**Brooke ** 16:46
That’s all right. We are dog friendly on this podcast.

**Colin ** 16:51
Okay, so, rain is probably the easiest one to keep out of the house. It’s the one that everybody is aware is a problem because you see on a fairly regular basis. And for the most part, it’s not that hard. You know, it’s, make sure that there’s no holes in your roof, make sure your gutters actually drain the way they’re supposed to and don’t get clogged. And the one part that people occasionally overlook is: make sure that your downspouts discharge far enough away from the house. You’re not pumping water back in against the foundation.

**Brooke ** 17:23

**Colin ** 17:25
I work in houses all the time, I see the downspout that comes straight down off the roof and dumps on to the ground six inches away from the wall. And just like, that’s just going to end up straight in the basement. So.

**Colin ** 17:37

**Colin ** 17:38
This is something—a lot of the things I’m gonna talk about, you really kind of need to be the homeowner to do, but moving downspout discharge further away from the walls, even if you’re gonna rental, that’s something you can do. Get a piece of plastic pipe, anything to just move it as far from the house as you possibly can.

**Brooke ** 17:56
Yeah. That’s a cheap, that’s a cheap and fairly quick fix that can make a world of difference. And even if you don’t have a basement, just the water pouring into the foundation at one consistent spot over and over and over again can, you know, damage that part of it and cause a much bigger problem.

**Colin ** 18:17
And the biggest one, if you are the homeowner, is take a look at the grading around your house. This is something that, at least in the area that I am, I would say 75–90% of the houses that I see have inadequate drainage. You’re supposed to have ideally 10 inches of fall in the first 10 feet away from the house. Six inches is the bare minimum, but 10 is a lot better. In most cases I see no fall at all, or even the yard slipping back in towards the house. When you have that means that any water that lands in the yard is gonna try to come into the house. It doesn’t take a whole lot of elevation change to really dry out a basement.

**Brooke ** 19:08
So those who aren’t construction nerds like the two of us, when when Colin’s talking about grading here he’s talking about the incline or decline, the direction that the ground is going towards the house, away from the house. That’s what "grading" means. Just in case somebody needs that.

**Colin ** 19:24
Yes, you are 100% correct. This is a thing that is—it’s labor intensive, but it’s actually fairly cheap. I don’t know what dirt costs on average across the country, but where I am it’s around $50 per ton for just—you don’t need topsoil, it doesn’t need to be good quality. It just needs to be dirt, and does not require any skill at all. If you can wield a shovel, you can fix the grading around your house.

**Brooke ** 19:58
How would they check the grading, Colin?

**Colin ** 19:59
For that you need a level—it can tell you, you know, when something is level. If you own a cell phone, you already have one, because cell phones have accelerometers in them that can tell the phone which position it’s in. That’s how it knows how to change your screen from one orientation to the other when you move the phone. So there—are there are apps that are just a visualization of a physical bubble level. All it’s doing is telling you, you know, how tilted is the phone? They’re not the most accurate thing in the world, but for grading dirt, we’re not going for high precision, you just need to know more or less where level is.

**Brooke ** 20:37
Yeah, okay. All right. So you mentioned like buying dirt. So if people have a spot in the yard that’s higher than the where the foundation is, are you—are you saying they should put dirt between the high spot in the house to make it level? Or go the other way? Are there other ways to solve it? Sorry to get so pedantic.

**Colin ** 20:58
No, no, it’s a very good question. And that’s why the rule of like, you know, 10 inches in the first 10 feet or 6 inches in the first 10 feet, if you can’t manage that, is a rule of thumb. But you kind of have to look at your yard. And unless you have a perfectly flat manicured yard, you’ve got humps here and there and some parts are higher than the other. Having one or two high spots near the house, not really a big deal, as long as the water is generally going to go away from the house. And this is one of those things that you kind of just have to look at it and eyeball where downhill is. If nothing else, you know, you can take a five gallon bucket of water, dump it on the ground, and see where it goes. If it heads towards the house, hat’s bad. If it heads parallel to the house and kind of away from the house, that’s probably fine.

**Brooke ** 21:53
Yeah. Okay, so solution might be taking away dirt. You might buy dirt to regrade, or you might need to dig out some dirt and haul it some place.

**Colin ** 22:03
You can have a very, you know, lumpy yard, you can move dirt around. Really what you want is just to pay attention to that 10 feet immediately around the house. And make sure that’s as high as you can possibly get it. If you can’t get it high enough, there are other options like French drains and building drainage swales and berms. Those get more complicated. They’re still well within the capability of the average homeowner, but you kind of need to see a demonstration of it. So that’s what YouTube is for.

**Brooke ** 22:36
Got it. Okay, sorry to spend so much time on that.

**Colin ** 22:38
Those are fantastic questions. I can go on and on about drainage swales for the rest of the hour, but—

**Brooke ** 22:43
[Laughing] Yeah, how about we not. Now tell me about some other ways to keep the water out.

**Colin ** 22:52
Okay, so the one that everybody knows about and has seen and news and movies are sandbags. And they’re okay in some situations. But the problem with them is that sandbags leak.

**Brooke ** 23:09

**Colin ** 23:10
So no matter how good your sandbag wall is, it’s not going to stop the water, it’s just going to slow it down. And once the water is on the wrong side of your wall, now you have to get it back out. And that means using a pump of some kind. And as we’ve already said, if you’re in a flooding situation, there’s a good chance that you’re going to lose power. So relying on any kind of active pump to keep your house and your basement dry is not ideal. So your comment about people having sump pumps in their basement, that’s fantastic for average storms and normal amounts of rainfall where you just have a trickle of water coming into the basement and nothing is really going that wrong. But when you get to the point where, you have, water sheeting across the ground several inches deep, lots of water coming into the house, most sump pumps aren’t going to be able to keep up with that in the first place. And even if they are, the risk of you losing power at some point and now you have water in the basement is too high. So that’s why I’d normally recommend, if you can do it, do it with grading, do it with dirt. Keep the water from ever getting close enough to the house to be a problem. Don’t rely on being able to block it with things like sandbags.

**Brooke ** 24:30
Yeah, okay. That makes a lot of sense. So should people not use sandbags or just…?

**Colin ** 24:37
Oh, no, they’re fantastic when you have, you know, things like hurricanes where you have a lot of water coming in a hurry, and you’re just trying to keep the entire house from going underwater. Or if you have an area where you have water sheeting across the yard towards the house and overall your drainage is fine, ou just need to deflect the a little bit. So you can build temporary wall of sandbags just to kind of get the water pointed in a better direction. Relying on them to actually totally barricade the house is not going to work.

**Brooke ** 25:12
Make sense? So this there’s some limitations.

**Colin ** 25:14
Yeah, the last one that almost nobody thinks about is what’s called backflow prevention. And this refers to the sewer line that, ideally, you want your poo to go into the sewer and away from the house and not come back.

**Brooke ** 25:34

**Colin ** 25:35
When the poop comes back, you’re gonna have a bad day.

**Brooke ** 25:40
I want that on a sweatshirt now. Whoever’s listening, somebody make us a sweatshirt design—a tshirt or something with that. I want that. When the poo comes back, you’re gonna have a bad day. Okay.

**Colin ** 25:54
This is something that, if you live in an area, if you’re in a floodplain, if you have a high water table, where there’s a risk that the sewer system is going to flood at the same time as the ground floods, look into this. It’s a very complicated topic, and I am definitely not qualified to talk about it. This is the thing that, you know, you need a PhD to understand the exact, you know, flow of everything. The poo flow It’s very complicated. It’s not that expensive, but beyond what a homeowner can do by themselves.

**Brooke ** 26:31
Do homeschool you have some kind of backflow prevention, or is that not common?

**Colin ** 26:35
It depends. If your house is older than I’m gonna say 50 years old, it’s very, very unlikely that you have it if you haven’t installed it yourself. In Pittsburgh where I am, we have what’s called a combined flow sewer system. Which means the sanitary sewer from your toilet and the storm sewer from the drains in the street all go into the same set of pipes.

**Brooke ** 27:04
Okay, yes, so do mine.

**Colin ** 27:05
Yeah, it’s, again, not uncommon in older systems. But it means that every time you get heavy rainfall, all that water has to go into the sewers, and it overloads them. So in Pittsburgh, every time we get more than about a half inch of rain, we just end up with sewage flowing straight into the rivers and they put out an alert, you know, don’t go into the rivers for a couple days until everything has a chance to clear out. But when you do that, it also means that the risk that you’re going to overflow the sewer and cause backflow into houses that are lower down on the sewer system goes up. So if you happen to be one of those houses, look into getting a backflow valve installed on the sewer where it leaves the house so that the poo stays on the correct side.

**Colin ** 27:52
So once the water gets in, the first thing to know is you’re probably not going to get it back out by hand. I have occasionally seen advertisements for the little tiny, like, siphon hand pumps at Home Depot, the other big box stores, advertising: you can use this to pump out your basement. No. Just no.

**Brooke ** 27:52
Yeah, geez louise. The shit we do to our rivers. [Laughing] Alright, so keeping the water out, check. We’ve got some methods for that. Okay, what about after the water gets in.

**Brooke ** 28:29
Why not?

**Colin ** 28:31
Water weighs—I’m gonna say 64 pounds per cubic foot.

**Brooke ** 28:37
7 pounds a gallon, roughly.

**Colin ** 28:37
Yeah, 7 pounds a gallon. And if you have even a small house, say like 20 by 30, and you got a foot of water in your basement, that’s something like 19 tons of water—

**Brooke ** 28:38
Oh my gosh, wow.

**Colin ** 28:50
—that you have to lift up 6 or 8 feet to get it high enough that it’s above ground, and then move it out of the house.

**Brooke ** 29:03

**Colin ** 29:04
You’re not doing that by hand. There are—there are really big pumps that are designed for places where there’s no power and you have to get water out of mines and things like that. They work very well. They’re also I want to say between $5,000 and $10,000.

**Brooke ** 29:20
Oh my gosh.

**Colin ** 29:21
So you’re…

**Colin ** 29:24
Not practical. So sump pumps: fantastic as long as you have electricity, but if you don’t have electricity, you’re gonna be in trouble. You’re probably going to have to wait until the water level goes down and it’s able to drain back out on its own. So you’re not gonna be cleaning up 3 feet of water in the basement. You’re going to be dealing with the last inch or two that doesn’t make it over to the drains and out of the house on its own. So for that your two best weapons are honestly a good old fashioned floor squeegee, and a wet/dry vacuum with what’s called a dust separator. It looks kind of like a 5 gallon bucket with a cone on top of it. And it works by pulling the air into the cone and spinning it like a cyclone. So all the water gets flung to the outside, the air goes up the center and the water falls down into the bucket. The advantage of those is you can work kind of like a bucket brigade, because it’s just a lid that goes on top of a five gallon bucket and that way your shop vac never fills up.

**Brooke ** 29:24
Not practical.

**Brooke ** 30:40
Oh! I was just picturing using my shop vac for this because I know it can do water. And then it’s like, oh yeah, and then we’re talking about the weight of water just now. I have to stop, unclick the lid, you know, take it out or hand it out or whatever, wait for them to go dump it, bring it back in, put the lid back on. So, but man, something that attaches to a 5 gallon bucket which is like such a common thing to have around. That’s awesome.

**Colin ** 31:02
The first time I saw one of those it was revelation. I was like, oh my god, I need one of these. And then, yeah, it means you have, you know, one person vacuuming, filling buckets, and the other person running them outside and dumping them. It dramatically speeds up the process. And they’re—I wanna say they’re between $20 and $50 depending on where you get them and what the exact design is. You don’t need anything super high quality, all you need is a way to separate the water and the air so that you can get the water back out of the house as quickly as possible. And then the floors for squeegee can move a lot of water in a hurry, assuming you have a working for drain. And also really good for getting mud moved around because it kind of scrapes the floor as it goes. Again, that’s the thing that is not very expensive.

**Brooke ** 31:51
Yeah. Cool. I was just just—for price purposes, I just quickly looked on like Amazon for—and it looks like the— no sorry, not the squeegees, but the cyclone dust thing is maybe starting about 50 bucks and going up from there.

**Colin ** 32:06
Okay, they’ve gone up a little bit since I bought mine.

**Brooke ** 32:07

**Colin ** 32:08
It was a few years ago.

**Brooke ** 32:09
Yeah, if you’re doing some community emergency preparedness, and if you work with friends or whatever to collect and have some of these tools—I’m trying to do more of that in my own life so that we don’t all own every single tool you might need. Might be a good one to go in on together and, you know, somebody stores or keeps track of it or whatever.

**Colin ** 32:30
Yeah, definitely. And a lot of the preparation for construction-related disasters is tool and equipment heavy. And there’s no reason for everybody in your social circle to have duplicates of all the tools, because you’re also going to need lots of hands helping out. So as long as one person has the tool that you need, everybody has access to it.

**Brooke ** 32:56
Okay, awesome. I’m just adding one of those to my wish list now to look at some more later. Okay, so that’s some of the ways we get the water out of that. And I assume that, like, if you’re in a basement, and you’ve got stuff in your basement, you probably want to like get your shit out of the basement and then start attacking the water, right? Like get your belongings to dry ground before you do that, or, you tell me.

**Colin ** 33:24
Um. It depends on sort of, you know, do you have a place to put all of your belongings or are you going to need to move them out into the front yard once the rain stops? So it’s kind of a judgment call as to whether you can deal with water first or get your belongings out of the house first. It’s whatever you have time and space and energy to do. As long as you are making progress on one of the fronts, it’s all going to have to happen at some point in the next, you know, 24 to 48 hours. The exact order that things happen doesn’t matter all that much.

**Brooke ** 34:03
Nobody’s sleeping for a little while after the disaster, and that’s okay.

**Colin ** 34:06

**Brooke ** 34:06
I mean, it sucks, but.

**Colin ** 34:10
So yeah, that is the next point is dealing with all your belongings. And step one is just separate the wet and dry things. Anything that has managed to avoid the water, get it out of the basement and get it out of that damp room as fast as you possibly can. Because once things get wet, your next big issue is going to be mold. Even if you have things sitting in the basement that didn’t get wet with the floodwater, they’re now in a damp space that has been contaminated with all sorts of wonderful biological material for mold to grow in, and basements tend not to be the best ventilated places in the house.

**Brooke ** 34:53

**Colin ** 34:54
And your mold spores are everywhere all the time. You can’t avoid them. All you can do is try to make a environment that mold does not like to grow in. And once the house has been flooded, mold becomes very, very, very happy.

**Brooke ** 35:09
Okay. Yeah, a lot of moisture.

**Colin ** 35:12
So get everything out of the basement, dry things can go upstairs, wet things need to be moved someplace away from the dry things so that they don’t contaminate those as well. So if it’s—ifyou have things that are totally soaked, furniture, carpet, things like that, they’re not going to get any worse by just chucking them into the front yard. So you can put down a tarp to keep them out of the mud. But once they’ve been soaked, the damage has already been done, just get them out of the house, that’s easier. Throw a tarp over it to, you know, keep the worst of the weather off. But your big concern is getting the space emptied out. And also, mold does not like UV radiation, and we have a great source of radiation outside in the form of the sun.

**Brooke ** 36:04

**Colin ** 36:04
So just parking things out in bright light is going to help slow down that mold.

**Brooke ** 36:08
Yeah. And so even if you’ve got an apartment or what have you, you know, if you can put things out on a porch. If you’ve got things that are really soaked, you could take them into the bathroom and you can put things in the in the tub or the shower. And, just as the initial, like, letting some of that water run off, while you then go deal with other issues, or sending them in a sink—not for long term but, like, short term places to stick things if it’s still raining outside and you’ve got wet stuff.

**Colin ** 36:38
Yeah, put them someplace where they can drain and start to dry out a little bit. Your most important thing is keep the airflow going. Because if you’ve got good airflow, that’s going to slow down the growth of mold.

**Brooke ** 36:52
And even cold air flow, right? Like—

**Colin ** 36:54
Even cold air flow.

**Brooke ** 36:55
—blowing a fan even if it’s, yeah, okay.

**Brooke ** 36:57
Okay, but what about if it was like brief flooding in your carpet—like this is not quite we’re talking about, but if a pipe burst—a waterline burst in my basement and gets everything wet? I get that turned off and dried back out.

**Colin ** 36:57
So once you have your belongings out, take a look at the walls and flooring. And pretty much anything that is wet and porous, like drywall or carpet pads., if it’s wet and porous, it’s probably trash. It’s not in most cases worth salvaging carpet that has been totally saturated with floodwater because you’re never going to get the mud and all the sewage back out of that carpet. Now you have your antique oriental rug, that can be salvaged. But just regular old wall to wall carpet and the padding behind it, it’s going to be cheaper to replace that than it is to try to salvage it.

**Colin ** 37:56
Yeah, that is salvageable. For that you don’t need to trash it. I was thinking more along the lines of, you know, muddy, sewage filled water in your basement. But no, if you just have—if you have clean water on a carpet, as long as you can get it dried out before the mold starts, you’ll be fine.

**Brooke ** 38:13

**Colin ** 38:13
And again, this is where that shopvac and the dust separator really shine, because you can suck the water out of the carpet. And that means there’s a whole lot less work for the fans and the dehumidifier to do to try to get that carpet dried back out before the mold starts.

**Brooke ** 38:30
Okay. So the type of water matters a lot. Like if you’re basement window, the seal breaks and you’ve got maybe your downspout water is going into the basement. That might be salvageable, again, if you don’t have mold and stuff, right?

**Colin ** 38:45
Right. If it’s clean water and you can get it dried out, you’re fine. But once it has been contaminated with groundwater, think long and hard about how important it is to salvage it. Because, again, once you have stuff like sewage and mud into the carpet and into the backing, the odds that you will develop mold problem later on if it gets wet again are significantly higher, because now you have all that food for the mold to grow on.

**Brooke ** 39:14
Yeah, and then that mold of course, you know, ongoing health issues can be caused, you know, mold sucks. But yeah, it’s not just that mold sucks and it’s gross and smelly. It’s like literally bad for you.

**Colin ** 39:31
You’re two best weapons, in addition to air and light, are honestly vinegar and borax. Both of which are available at pretty much any grocery store. They both work by the same mechanism but at opposite ends of the spectrum. Mold needs a certain pH to be able to grow. Believe it’s between 4 and 8. But it can go as far as between like 3 and 9. And vinegar is just outside that range on the acidic end, and Borax is just outside it on the basic end.

**Brooke ** 40:10
So I should pour vinegar on my carpet,

**Brooke ** 40:12
Oh, okay.

**Colin ** 40:12
You can do that.

**Colin ** 40:13
Yeah, just use full strength vinegar, put it in a sprayer or, you know, slosh it around, you know, spread it out the squeegee. But if you—

**Brooke ** 40:21
Full strength do you mean the normal, like 5%, white vinegar at the store?

**Colin ** 40:25
5%, yeah.

**Brooke ** 40:25
Okay, because you can buy, in case folks don’t know this, 10%, 20%, 30% vinegar at department stores that works well as a weed killer.

**Colin ** 40:35
Yeah, that’s actually what I keep around for cleaning because it takes up less space, and if you have the 30% vinegar, you just dilute it with water to get it back down to 5%. And now you have—

**Brooke ** 40:45
Just don’t spill it on your skin.

**Colin ** 40:47

**Brooke ** 40:48
I’ve done that.

**Colin ** 40:49
Coming back to the safety issue. You do not—like, even regular strength vinegar, I’ve used for cleaning walls in a basement before and walked back into the room after I had a chance to off gas a little bit and walk right back out again because I couldn’t breathe. Vinegar is pretty safe, but it’s still an acid and your lungs don’t like breathing it. So open the windows, wear gloves, keep it off your skin, and by all means keep it out of your eyes. Same is true for borax. As chemicals go, they’re pretty safe, but you still don’t want them in your eyes. Safety glasses, chemical goggles if you have them. Again, Harbor Freight, 2 bucks for a pair of inexpensive plastic goggles is all you need.

**Brooke ** 41:39
Hopefully at this point, a lot of us have respirators, you know, post COVID and protests and whatever. You probably don’t need to go that hard, but you can, right?

**Colin ** 41:51

**Brooke ** 41:52

**Colin ** 41:53
So it’s just the full strength vinegar, the 5%, on anything that is going to take a long time to dry out or you don’t have time to deal with. So if you have a pile of soggy bedding, and your washing machine doesn’t work because you don’t have power, just go ahead and dump vinegar all over that. Vinegar is fine for most fabrics. And as long as it’s acidic, as long as the clothing is too acidic for mold to grow, it can sit there for a week and it’ll be probably fine.

**Brooke ** 42:26
So you could like, put them in your sink, stopper it, and pour some vinegar over the top of the bedding or the clothes or whatever it is that you need to soak. Do they need to be like, do they just need to be damp with the vinegar, or do they need to like sit in vinegar?

**Colin ** 42:40
It depends on what you’re trying to do. Vinegar will kill mold, but it takes a long time as chemical methods of killing mold goes. You figure, most people know, like, bleach will kill mold in a couple minutes. Full strength vinegar can take an hour or more depending on the surface. So if you’re using it to disinfect a surface, it needs to stay on there for a long time. Usually with fabric if you just dunk it in vinegar and hang it up to dry, by the time the fabric is dry, the vinegar has been on there long enough that anything that was on there is now dead. So even if your clothes aren’t clean, dunk it in vinegar, hang it up outside on a clothesline, let it dry, and the vinegar will keep any mold from developing in the time that it takes the clothing to dry.

**Brooke ** 43:32
If bleach is so much faster and more effective, why not use bleach to clean the walls, clean the carpets, all of that kind of stuff.

**Colin ** 43:42
You can do that. Bleach, as everybody knows, is a little more dangerous. Not good to get on your skin. Not good to breathe. And bleach bleaches things. So if you use chlorine bleach on your, you know, vintage clothing, you’re going to be in the market for some new vintage clothing.

**Brooke ** 44:05
Yeah, okay.

**Colin ** 44:06
Vinegar is—if you read online, there are articles of clothing and fabric that you’re not supposed to use vinegar on. But I can attest to the fact that you can get away with using it on pretty much anything, including—the friend of mine that I’ve mentioned, I think last time, that had the apartment fire was using vinegar to clean a lot of like vintage suede. And it wasn’t happy about it, but it survived and it came through it.

**Brooke ** 44:37
So you can use bleach, it just comes with more caveats and dangers and you’re less likely to maybe screw something up if you’re using vinegar as your agent.

**Colin ** 44:47

**Brooke ** 44:47
It sounds—that’s what I’m hearing, is that accurate?

**Colin ** 44:49
Bleach will definitely work. Vinegar is nice because almost everything, you can just dunk it in vinegar and let it dry and it’s not going to do that much damage to it. I used it on furniture, leather clothing, silk, everything. Even things that you’re like, oh this should be dry cleaned only. Eh, vinegar is generally okay. It’s not gonna love it but it’ll be fine.

**Brooke ** 44:51
[Laughing] Gotcha.

**Colin ** 44:52
Borax is, you know, you’ve probably seen it in your grandmother’s basement as a laundry booster. Borax is a—

**Brooke ** 45:27
White powder

**Colin ** 45:28
Yeah, white powder, sodium metaborate, I think? It’s a caustic alkaline salt. So it has the advantage of being persistent where vinegar is not. So once the vinegar dries out, it’s gone. Which is nice because your clothes will not smell like vinegar forever, you know, after a week or two, the smell totally goes away. Borax, it’s like table salt. Once it dries out, you’re left with a white powder on everything.

**Colin ** 46:00
Which is probably not what you want for all of your possessions because you don’t want them covered and white powder. The advantage it has is that it does stay around. So if you are trying to get mold off of the walls and the joists in your basement, if you spray them with borax, once the water dries that powder is still going to be there and it’s still going to prevent mold from growing. So the borax, once you put it down, will continue working until you clean it up. Yeah, so if you have a basement that has a major mold problem, just coat everything with borax, you can leave it on, there even when you put drywall and insulation everything back up, it’s not going to hurt anything.

**Brooke ** 46:00

**Brooke ** 46:42
Okay. You’re wet clothing that’s at risk of molding. Can you dust that with borax? Does that work?

**Colin ** 46:47
You can. That would work just fine if you happen to have borax not vinegar. So the vinegar I like just because it doesn’t leave a residue on things. You can use it on everything. So when you have a giant pile of belongings, of some clothing, some furniture, or some antiques, just hose everything down with vinegar and sort it out later.

**Brooke ** 47:08
Yeah, I was imagining a circumstance where it’s, you know, I can’t get to the store, the store is out of things, and I have half a gallon of vinegar and half a jar of borax and, you know, Dollar Store tiny container of bleach and, you know, what can I use where and what can’t I use where and how would I spread out what I have available?

**Brooke ** 47:30
Why not? Sounds like fun!

**Colin ** 47:30
You should not mix the vinegar and the bleach, that’s the first thing. [Laughing]

**Colin ** 47:35
For some definition of the word fun, yeah. It’s exciting. In general, don’t mix anything with bleach because bleach is a sodium hypochlorite I believe is the chemical? There’s different versions of it. But anyway, it contains chlorine. And when that chlorine breaks three of the things that are holding it to the rest of the molecule, you now have chlorine gas in your house, and that makes it really hard to breathe, and it’s a good way to put yourself in the hospital. So if you’re going to use bleach, do not use anything else. Vinegar and borax, they can actually be mixed. If you do that, the downside is that because vinegar is acidic, and borax is alkaline, you pull the pH a little bit closer to the center and it’s not going to be as effective against mold. But then when the vinegar disappears and evaporates, the borax will still be there to help prevent the mold from coming back. So there’s no harm in mixing them. And a lot of websites that talk about mold cleanup will actually recommend it because the Borax is persistent and the vinegar will generally be enough to kill them all quickly and the borax keeps it from coming back. But for the purposes of just trying to inhibit low growth immediately after the flooding event, either one is fine. You don’t need to mix them to get the best effect and you’ll be able to cover more of your possessions if you’re not using both products on everything. So vinegar on some, borax and others, there’s no reason to hit them double strength.

**Brooke ** 49:18
Right. Yeah, so I’m imagining, like, I might bleach spray the walls, dust some powdered borax on the carpet, soak the clothes and vinegar. Again, this is like, if I don’t have enough of one thing or a couple things to do everything that needs to get done, you know, what benefits the most from each thing or how can I use each one individually most effectively. But yeah, very good, important thing about mixing chemicals. There’s another one too I think ammonia and bleach you’re not supposed to mix, it also has a bad chemical…? Yeah.

**Colin ** 49:48
Ammonia and bleach does the same thing. It’s still—the chlorine is the ones gonna get you. Chlorine gas is nasty nasty stuff.

**Brooke ** 49:54
Seems like they use that at one point and like did bad things to people with it.

**Colin ** 49:58
Yeah, yeah, we don’t like chlorine gas. It’s not fun.

**Brooke ** 50:01
Yeah, I’m not a history person but boy, that sounds familiar.

**Colin ** 50:04
Speaking of gases, one of the things that people may see, as far as mold abatement goes, is the use of ozone.

**Colin ** 50:12
And I have used that. I actually have an ozone generator, and it does a fantastic job of getting rid of the, you know, the few mold spores that are in places where you can’t get to them. But I will say, in general, for anybody listening to this, don’t bother.

**Brooke ** 50:12
Oh, uh huh.

**Colin ** 50:30
Oh, okay.

**Colin ** 50:30
The ozone generators that you can afford are not going to be big enough and powerful enough to take care of like an entire room. And ozone is maybe not quite as bad as chlorine gas, but it is still a nasty toxic gas. And it can cause both you and your possessions serious harm. The reason it works is because it has—it’s O3, so it has an extra oxygen atom or molecule—attached the molecule. That makes it very, very active, and it tries to oxidize everything that it comes in contact with. Which if it’s coming in contact with mold that you want to kill, that’s fantastic. If it’s oxidizing all of the plastics and all of your synthetic fabrics and turning them into, you know, various nasty compounds like formaldehyde, that’s not so good. And I’ve read horror stories about people getting, you know, small ozone generators off Amazon and saying, well, you know, this is not powerful enough to get the levels up high enough in an hour, so I’ll just let it run for three days.

**Brooke ** 51:41
[Laughing] That’s three days, that’s not an hour.

**Colin ** 51:45
Yeah, when you do that, it’s sort of like the difference between baking something in the oven at 150 degrees for 8 hours versus searing a steak at 500 degrees for 5 minutes. They do very different things. And letting everything just kind of stew in ozone for a very long time is not a good idea. You do not want to do that. And I would just say steer clear of those. Leave that to the professionals. Save your money. Buy more vinegar and borax.

**Brooke ** 52:19
Okay, that’s good to know. And if you want to learn more about chemical combinations, I created a board game for children. That’s totally an aside thing. Okay, I want to go back to one thing here and I’m sorry, I’m risking going long, but um, we talked about removing like walls and carpet and I sidetracked us and talking a lot about carpet. You mentioned briefly about, like, taking out what drywall material, right, if there’s water damage. And with the carpet I had asked about like freshwater versus, you know, sewage water. Does the same thing go for removing walls? Like if I have a pipe burst and it’s, you know, just fresh water that person got the walls wet. Can they be recovered? Or is that a situation where, sorry, it got wet, you pretty much got to take it out? Um, I don’t know I’m asking.

**Colin ** 53:12
It depends on how wet it got. If it’s just a pipe that burst in the ceiling and it sprayed a little bit of water on the wall, that’s probably fine. That’s salvageable. If you have a pipe burst inside the wall and it saturated all the insulation and soak the drywall through, that needs to come out. Not because the water is necessarily going to damage the drywall, but now you have created a damp space with no airflow inside the wall. And if you can’t get that opened up and dry it out, you’re going to end up with mold.

**Brooke ** 53:45
Can you dry out insulation? Like if you take out a piece of wet insulation and put a fan on it and dry it out, can you put it back in or does it get ruined?

**Colin ** 53:56
With fiberglass insulation, you could do it but there’s no reason to.

**Brooke ** 54:02

**Colin ** 54:02
The cost of replacing the insulation is going to be less than probably the cost of trying to get it dried back out and salvageable.

**Brooke ** 54:11
Okay. Okay.

**Colin ** 54:13
And a lot of houses have insulation that has already been contaminated somewhat with mold over the years. Usually when insulation comes out of walls, it’s not perfectly clean. It already has some mold and things in it just because temperature fluctuations, you know, that’s why you have the insulation there is to help slow down the temperature changes. But that means that the insulation is constantly going up and down in temperature. It has a small amount of condensation in it. Over time, little bits of organic matter and mold start to grow on it. It’s not a huge problem until it gets soaked and now it takes off. So basically once installation gets wet, it’s trash. And along those lines with drywall, another thing that I’ve seen a lot in basements that have had some water damage is either the homeowner or the contractor that they paid to do the recovery was trying to be as…

**Brooke ** 55:12
Cost efficient?

**Colin ** 55:13
Cost efficient, yes, that’s a good way of putting it, as possible. Fake cost efficiency. And they pull out the bare minimum of insulation and drywall, basically the only things that came in direct contact with water, and they put new drywall back up, and six months later you have a mold problem, because there was still moisture higher up in the wall that was not addressed. So once a wall gets wet, you want to remove the drywall to, I’m gonna say, a good foot or more above the waterline at minimum. If you want to take out the entire wall, that’s probably overkill but it’s not the worst idea. But, you know, minimum of a foot above the waterline. And then for any insulation in the wall, reach your arm or up inside the bay as far as you can and get out anything you can possibly reach. The more space and the more airflow you get inside that wall, the better off you’re going to be in the long run. And coming back to the borax, if there’s any doubt about whether or not you’ve gotten anything, hose some borax water up inside there, let that dry out, and now you have something that’s going to inhibit mold growing in that space for the remainder of the life of the house.

**Brooke ** 56:34
Okay, now I know this is going to be probably beyond the average homeowner’s ability to to judge, but what about the framing, the studs, you know, the the wood that’s in the walls that your your drywall is attached to and your insulation runs between? Any tips on being able to tell whether or not that needs to be replaced? Or is it just a, sorry, you got to call a contractor at that point to figure out if that needs to get redone.

**Colin ** 57:04
It’s probably going to be fine. I’m sure there are exceptions. But, you know, wood is used to being outside. And as long as it has a chance to dry back out after it’s gotten wet, it’ll be fine. If it’s sitting in water for weeks or months, you may have an issue. Your biggest problem honestly, with wet wood, is that it attracts termites. So you don’t want to have damp wood. But as long as it gets dried back out, again, not too much of an issue.

**Brooke ** 57:37
Okay, that’s really great. Okay, I feel like I am much better prepared to deal with flooding, hopefully make it happen, less things to look out for. And then definitely after it comes, knowing what I should do immediately and fairly quickly in that process. And that’s awesome. I like learning things. Is there anything more you want to say about dealing with flooding and/or water damage that we haven’t talked about?

**Colin ** 58:10
Oh, the one thing I didn’t didn’t get to was the burst pipe.

**Brooke ** 58:13

**Colin ** 58:13
So let’s run through that real quickly.

**Brooke ** 58:15

**Colin ** 58:15
This is something pretty much everybody’s gonna experience at some point in their life. I don’t know of anybody that has not had to deal with leaking pipe or burst pipe at some point, even if it’s not during a disaster. It’s just like, sometimes it just happens because pipes get old and they break. So we talked about, you know, in the triage episode, the know where your shut offs are, and hopefully you can just run them down to the basement and shut the water to the house off, and then you have as much time as you need to deal with the broken pipe. If that doesn’t happen, because you don’t have a working shut off or you can’t get to it, there are these brand of plumbing fittings called SharkBites which don’t require any real skill to use. Sort of like, if you are capable of using a can opener and putting a cork in a bottle of wine, you can use a SharkBite fitting. Go on YouTube, there’s good demonstrations of how to use them. And all you need is a set of cheap tubing cutters for cutting through the pipe, and either a valve or cap to go on the pipe after you cut it. I recommend, if you’re going to keep one thing around, keep the tubing cutter and a valve. Because if you have a valve, you can use that for capping off a pipe that is under pressure. So if you can’t shut the water off in your house, and you have a leaking pipe, you’re gonna have a mess on your hands. But what you can do is cut through the pipe, open it all the way up. Now you have a pipe spraying water everywhere, and if you try to put a cap on that, you’re fighting against the pressure and you can’t do it. But if you’ve a valve, you can put the valve onto the pipe in the open position. So the water just flows through the valve and you close the valve and the water stops.

**Brooke ** 1:00:10
But that’s—that whole set’s only going to be true if you have like a PVC or PEX pipe, right? If you have—

**Colin ** 1:00:17
No, they work against copper too.

**Brooke ** 1:00:20
Okay, but you need a different tool to cut—well I have like galvanized steel I think it is or, you know, much older pipes than that that are metal.

**Colin ** 1:00:29
Cast iron.

**Brooke ** 1:00:30

**Colin ** 1:00:31
That’s a different story. But if you have PEX or copper or PVC, the little cheap tubing cutters that will kind of like a C clamp with a little blade, and you just clamp it down and spin it in the circle until the blade cuts through, one of those and a 90 degree shut off valve is going to get you through a lot of problems because it works against pipes that have pressure in them. And again, there’s demonstrations of how to do this on YouTube. It’s kind of hard to explain an audio format. But once you see it, you’re like, oh, yeah, that’s really easy.

**Brooke ** 1:01:02
Yeah, I’m visualizing it really well, only because I’ve built water systems with PEX pipe, and I’ve used shark bites and all of that. So it’s clear to me, but no sense of if it translates if you don’t know that. But um, yeah, okay, that’s really great. But just the caveat, it doesn’t work on all types of pipes. Most types, apparently, I didn’t realize the copper also. So that’s pretty great.

**Colin ** 1:01:24
No, so yeah, it’s—watch the videos, familiarize yourself with how you do it beforehand so that you know what to do. But it’s really, really simple. And it’ll buy you plenty of time until the plumbers can come out and fix the right way.

**Brooke ** 1:01:38
Cool, great. And again, that’s only if you can’t get to the shutoff valve because that would be your first choice in handling that, is to get to the shutoff valve rather than trying to cap the pipe off flowing.

**Colin ** 1:01:49
Yeah, cutting into your plumbing is the last resort. Hopefully you can just turn it off, but…

**Brooke ** 1:01:54
[Laughing] Just wanted to make sure we say that one twice.

**Colin ** 1:01:59
[Laughing] Yeah, that should be the last resort, not the first resort. Excellent point.

**Brooke ** 1:02:04
Thanks. All right. Colin, thank you so much for joining us today. I have learned a bunch of stuff and I’ve had a really great conversation with you. And I’m so happy that you’re willing to do this with us again. Do you have anything that you want to plug or promote or otherwise share in closing?

**Colin ** 1:02:22
Nope, that’s it.

**Brooke ** 1:02:27
Okay, that’s it, folks. To our listeners, thanks so much for listening. If you enjoy our podcast, please share it. Feel free to drop a comment on any of our social media pages or Patreon account. We do read all of your comments and we talk about them collectively. And personally, I love engaging on these subjects further with you all when you reach out to me. I can be found on Mastodon @OgemakweBrooke, that’s Brooke with an E. This podcast is produced by the anarchists publishing collective, Strangers in a Tangled Wilderness. We are on Twitter @tangledwild and also on Instagram. Plus, we have a rad website at tangledwilderness.org where you can find our extensive list of projects and publications. This podcast and much of the work of Strangers is made possible by our Patreon supporters. If you want to become a supporter, check out patreon.com/strangersinatangledwilderness. There are cool benefits at various support tiers on Patreon. For instance, if you support the collective at just $5 a month, we mail you a monthly zine. There are special Patreon supporters that support us at $20 or more a month and we give them a shout out and all of our podcasts and publications. So I want to say thanks to Eric, Julia, Patoli, Staro, Theo, Boise Mutual Aid, Princess Miranda, Jenipher, Micaiah, Dana, Buck, David, Janice & O’dell, Thunder, Percival, Lord Harken, Marm, Hunter, Milissia, Kirk, SJ, Anonymous, Chris, Nicole, Carson, Paige, Aly, CatGut, Trixter, Chelsea, paparouna, BenBen, and an always, Hoss the Dog.

Find out more at https://live-like-the-world-is-dying.pinecast.co