OK, this is WAAAAAAAAAAY off topic, but I saw a report about some families in Yazoo City, Mississippi who had built levees around their houses to fight against recent flood damage. The link below has some amazing pictures of those homes, and at least a few seem to be almost completely damage-free. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1388660/Mississippi-River-flooding-Residents-build-homemade-dams-saves-houses.html However, it made me ask myself some tough questions. If a cotton farmer can protect his own farm from bad floods far better than many cities across the USA can, then what is it going to take for the federal, state, and local governments to get serious about preventative measures to protect cities, homes, and citizens? You may know I live in Waterloo, IA. I am fortunate that the worst flooding I have personally experienced is a couple of inches of water in a basement. But I know some people have had to deal with much worse. And recent events (like the Iowa City/Cedar Rapids flood of 2008) make me sometimes feel outraged that average people have not been better-served or better-protected by the governments and agencies that are supposed to be able to prepare for stuff like this. Am I just getting too angrily anti-government here? Does anyone out there have good ideas for how to alleviate this problem? I welcome any discussion in the comments.