Floods happen for several reasons – rivers overflowing their banks, due to excessive rains, ice melting in the mountains, etc….. And the reason why floods happen so often is because of the climate changes.
We are witnesses of most frequent floods that are happening everywhere in the world at the moment more than ever before due to the climate changes. In the USA, in every single state there are floods happening during a year, and what about Europe? Britain? In my country (Serbia) this year was the second time in past 2 years that emergency was declared. Hundreds of people were been forced to evacuate, not to mention the economical, environmental and health impacts floods are causing.
During floods, roads, bridges, farms, houses and automobiles are destroyed. People become homeless or even get killed, as well as animals, which ruins the local ecosystem. Environment suffers by hazardous and other chemical substances ending up in water.
What to do if you face the flood? Before…During….And after.
- If you are facing the flood the best option is to go to the highest ground of floor in your house and wait for help.
- Disinfect your skin if it comes in contact with contaminated water in order to avoid any health issues or diseases and infections.
- If you are living in risky flood areas, have a first aid kit prepared which contains radio, water, canned food, warm clothing, battery lamp, protective clothing, even a life belt if you have. Have a safe place for your valuables so they don’t get destroyed during the floods. Plant trees and bushes around your property as vegetation controls erosion and lowers the speed of floods.
- As you see that level of water raises be quick and evacuate yourself and others around as fast as you can because flash floods occur in minutes. Turn of all electrical devices, gas, heating systems, etc. It is important to always stay away from power lines.
- Don’t use your car during floods, even little amount of moving water can sweep them away.
- After the floods it is important to get permission to go back to your house. You have to clean your house properly to remove all contaminated material (wear a gasmask). Make sure you make photos of all the damages in order to get insurance.
To enter or not?
Consider entering flood water to help others, only if:
- water is no more than 10cm deep
- water is not moving
- there is hard surface underneath – tarmac/concrete but not grass
- you can see the surface beneath the water
You never know what is under the deep and dirty water, you can injure yourself badly.
What can we do about it?
Beside reducing pollution, since this crazy floods recently occurred mostly because of climate changes, we as individuals cannot do anything about it. However, floods can be prevented on governmental level.
Things that can be done to prevent serious damages caused by floods are: building defense walls by placing sand bags into critical areas or building retaining walls, which hold extra water during flooding. Town planning plays a big role in this, people should make sure to get permission before building to keep waterways not blocked. Also all drainage systems should be covered to be kept safe from other objects and litter. This way water can run trough and minimize any chances of town flooding. New land development can be risky if the construction changers natural runoff paths. As mentioned above vegetation is also important because it protects land from erosion by moving water. Detention basin
are small reservoirs connected to waterways which provide a temporary storage for flood water. So when floods occur, water is first drained into the basin giving people more time for evacuation.
Did you know?
- 2/3 of those who die in floods are considered to be good swimmers
- 32% of flood-related deaths are by drowning in a vehicle
- If the speed of the flood water doubles the force it exerts on you/your car is quadrupled
- Just 15cm (6 inches) of fast flowing water can knock you off your feet and be enough for you to be unable to regain your footing.
- Just 30cm of flowing water could be enough to move the average family car
- There is also something good about floods, especially those that occur in farm fields. Floodwaters carry lots of nutrients that are deposited in the plains. Farmers love such soils, as they are perfect for cultivating some kinds of crops.
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