Since global warming started triggering massive hurricanes and storms in several countries, flood damage has been more and more prevalent. There are various kinds of floods that can be distinguished by their origin. The first kind of flood is known as “Riverine” floods, which are primarily caused by heavy downpours that lead rivers to overflow. “Riverine” floods have two sub-categories. The first kind is the slow type which refers to strong rain from tropical depressions and monsoons. In addition, the second kind is the fast type which is often known as “flash floods.” Coastal floods are the third kind which is solely caused by tsunamis. And the fourth kind is known as catastrophic floods which originate from earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. And the last kind is simply known as muddy floods which are caused by crops in farms or vineyards.
The Dangers and Casualties of Flood Damage Cleanups
Recovering as many things as possible is the main goal of flood damage cleanups and you have to be aware that the effects of floods vary at different levels. Accounting for casualties is the most important concern during flood damage cleanups. Since the bodies that are found need to be carefully identified and the families of the victims need to be notified, this is a highly sensitive matter. Aside from this, what has to be dealt with immediately are the external physical damages incurred due to the flood. These include submerged houses, capsized cars and infrastructures. Furthermore, contamination is a bigger problem flood damage cleanup teams have to deal with. Tap water becomes undrinkable when flood water penetrates water tanks and pipes. Since flood water contains various chemicals and germs coming from different sources, food produce is also affected. Therefore, a considerable amount of people fall victim to food and water contamination when major towns and cities are affected by massive floods. The situation for flood damage cleanup teams become even more urgent when widespread disease begins.
Several factors need to be considered due to the risk flood damage cleanup teams have to face while they are doing their jobs. Electrical hazards are one of the many factors that that can lead to serious injuries due to electronic wires and machinery that can cause an electrocuting after-effect. Carbon monoxide exposure is another factor that can cause ailments due to the fumes that come from toxic barrels and tanks.
What to Do During a Flood
You must remember that flood damage is a very pressing reality for millions of people around the world. The gravity of flood damage situations are undeniably serious and need to be addressed immediately. Erratic weather patterns are harsh realities people have to deal with. Moreover, we cannot simply be oblivious to the possibility that our homes may fall victim to hurricanes or raging typhoons. The sensible thing to do would be to be prepared for possible emergency situations. One of the most common occurrences that is related to storms is a flood and we cannot neglect the safety hazards and health concerns that are connected to it.
Ensuring that you have the right materials and gear that will protect you from possible accidents and dangerous chemicals is the first thing you should do before beginning the flood damage cleanup process. To protect you from falling debris, always remember to wear a hard hat when you are entering a flood damaged area. Also, to prevent inhaling toxic fumes, use a dust mask to cover your mouth. Plastic boots and heavy-duty cleaning gloves should keep your hands and feet dry from flood water and as well as from bacteria. If you want to avoid getting into an accident, all these safety gear are necessary for your protection. Cleaning up while there is still sunlight is recommended so that you don’t need to do heavy work at night, which is much riskier as well.
Taking out all the water from the floor area is the first thing you should do when you begin the actual flood damage cleanup. After doing this, make sure you pick up all the litter and debris left on the floor. Make it a point to thoroughly clean the damaged area since bacteria may quickly spread around causing disease. At the same time, flood water severely damages your house as well. When all of this is done, disinfect the whole house to kill the germs and bacteria lingering around. Sanitation is highly essential to keep the people living in your house safe from ailments. Do not just disinfect the walls and floor area. Your furniture and belongings should be disinfected as well since the germs may have contaminated them as well.
What Happens During a Flood
For those who have never experienced immense flooding, it is important for you to be able to picture what exactly goes on so you know how handle certain scenarios. The damages that occur during heavy floods can be so catastrophic that some people even lose their homes. Moreover, a lot of lives have been lost during floods, which makes it such a serious issue. Usually, during intense floods, water is often waist deep and a lot of cars and infrastructures are submerged. Strong currents can also easily uproot trees, crush glass, breakdown doors and even dislodge a car. At the same time, many foreign objects can be floating around, which can easily hurt or injure people in its path. The catastrophic effect of a flood can only be seen in its aftermath. Your surroundings will look like a battle field wherein lamp posts are bent and scattered around the city, trees are uprooted and lying on the streets and cars smashed and turned upside down.
If the cleanup process is not executed properly, a lot of serious problems may arise. One of the problems that may happen is residual water seeping into the cracks of houses and buildings. If this happens, the structure may become unstable and could even lead to dangerous corrosion. Chemicals may also wash into nearby water reservoirs or dams, posting a major threat to the health of millions of people. All these are highly plausible and should not be undermined at any cost. The government and communities need to work together to be able to remedy the situation quickly.
A History of Devastating Flood Scenarios
To constantly transcend the limits of nature and man, technology nowadays is rapidly being developed. However, in spite of all the advancements being made, nature’s wrath has still caused millions of lives and has destroyed numerous man-made structures. All the calamities the world has been experiencing are clear signs that man can only do so much when it comes to controlling nature. In an era where global warming has become such a pressing issue, tsunamis, hurricanes and typhoons are wrecking havoc on various countries. No matter how precise technology may be, the natural disasters still mostly strike when people least expect it.
The Indian Ocean tsunami that occurred on December, 2004 is a concrete example of a recent natural disaster. Due to a massive earthquake, a tsunami 80ft tall struck Indonesia and Sri Lanka, causing major floods. Hundreds of thousands of people were killed instantly by the raging floods due to the lack of warning of the tsunami and preparation among the residents. Even if various organizations from around the world tried to help rescue the victims, their efforts still weren’t enough to resolve the situation. Due to the severe damage of the tsunami, it took several years before the cleanup finished completely. Furthermore, Hurricane Katrina is another graphic example of how New Orleans was severely devastated by harrowing floods that submerged the city, causing a lot of people to lose their homes. In spite of the flood damage cleanup projects being done on the city, it is still a far cry from the way it used to be.
Handling and Preparing for Actual Flood Damage Scenarios
Having mentioned these tragic occurrences, the only thing we can really do is learn from them and try to create strategies in handling emergency flood damage scenarios. This can be done by creating an emergency plan that can serve as a blueprint for communities who are in hazardous flood zones. For people who are at high risk, underground safe houses need to be built so that they can serve as safe havens when disaster strikes. Moreover, medical volunteers and emergency rescue teams need to be organized by the local government so that they immediately attend to community members that need help. It is vital for every single community member to be aware of the emergency procedures in the event a typhoon strikes. The only way an emergency plan can work effectively is if the entire community is united and organized.
The actual rehabilitation process of the disaster-stricken areas is the next pivotal step. The efficiency of the flood damage clean up lies in the strength and unity of how each community member works with one another and this should be the main focus of local communities. Every member of the community should know their respective roles and should also be flexible enough to help those who have more pressing problems when disaster is ongoing. Even if it is the responsibility of the government to spearhead these projects, the manpower still comes from the citizens. That is why it is so important for every single member of the community to be aware of the dangers and guidelines that need to be followed during a flood damage scenario.