In many places around the world, the presence of flood damage can usually be found. Since current technology is still not powerful enough to accurately predict the weather and the occurrence of strong typhoons and hurricanes, the possibility of flash floods has all but been eliminated. There may be cases wherein there is not enough time for an area to prepare for an incoming natural disaster because the weather forecasts were not quick enough to pick up on it. Consequently, flood damage will most probably occur. Another possible cause is from river flooding which, studies have found, may become more common as global warming continues. Sea levels start to rise and so will the water levels in rivers. At times, this kind of flooding is even worse because it is far more unpredictable than the weather. In effect, it can literally catch communities off guard and prone to receiving the full effects of flood damage.
Another reason why flood damage is still very much prevalent in the world today is because the current generation defenses are still not advanced enough to handle the immense forces of nature. All the barriers and complex dams conjured up by engineers, scientists and researchers are still not capable of stopping bigger floods. As for smaller cities, they most probably do not have enough funding to purchase that kind of technology anyway. This leaves much left to be desired but for the meantime, there are alternative solutions.
Given that situation, it becomes extremely important for communities to make themselves aware of the effects that flood damage can bring to them. The proper authorities should be able to set up certain programs and teams to be able to handle the effects after a flood. Training sessions and dry runs on handling different disaster situations should regularly be done to keep the flood damage teams prepared and up to date. Also, civilians should be given tips on how to actually handle flood damage situations and what they can do to limit the disastrous effects of a flood.
In order to prepare yourself and the rest of the community from flood damage, knowing the possible disaster scenarios will be of great help. Understanding what kind of damage may be incurred during a flood will allow the community to at least take the necessary precautions to limit the extent of damage.
One obvious effect that comes after a flood is the structural damage. Usually, streets are littered with debris, cars are washed away and small infrastructure such as lamp posts, fences and the like are displaced. This is because of the powerful rapids that come during floods which can easily carry objects therefore making a huge mess of things later on. Also, there are times when trees and other plants are uprooted and carried away with the flood. This creates and even bigger problem because trees and plants supposedly help control floods by soaking in the water. They also keep the terrain’s foundation strong. Without them stuck to the ground they are useless and open up possibilities for more destruction.
Aside from all the scattered debris, another concern would be how the flood would affect the power grid of the area. As mentioned, it is very possible for electrical posts to suddenly topple over and this means power outages for most people around that area. Another possible cause of power outages is when the water slowly eats into the wiring and cables therefore exposing them. To make matters worse, repairing that kind of damage will take some time and therefore hinder the cleanup process. Without power, it will be much harder for cleanup crews to address the myriad of problems that comes with flood damage.
Beyond all the physical damage that occurs after flood, there is even more cause of concern when it comes to your health. This is because flood water obviously carries with it a lot of bacteria and foreign elements and exposure to this can lead to serious complications. Also, there may be times when water pipes spring a leak or water tanks have holes in them which mean that they are susceptible to contamination. If flood water somehow makes its way into the water supply of a home or community, there will definitely be scary repercussions.
One possible water-related disease that may be contracted from ingesting contaminated water is cholera. Basically it is an infection of the intestine due to bacteria and symptoms range from mild to very serious. Of the more serious symptoms are diarrhea and vomiting which means a sudden loss of fluids. If the proper steps are not taken, cholera can lead to fatal consequences. This is because the body will eventually go into shock due to the sudden loss of fluids and your muscles will start to cramp up as well. Several cases before have indicated the severity of this illness as seen in the cholera outbreak decades ago in several countries around the world.
In order to prevent the contraction of cholera after a flood, it would be wise to purchase distilled or purified water for the next several days or until your local water utility supplier can assure that safety of the water supply. Another alternative is to boil your water or treat it with iodine before drinking it.
Another health concern that pops up in cases of flood is that of parasites entering your body. Of course this may happen when you drink the dirty water but it is also possible to contract parasites just by being exposed to the dirty water. Parasites may be so miniscule that they can seep through your skin and develop once they are inside the human body. Different kinds of worms and bacteria can slowly grow inside of you which can lead to extreme consequences. If the problem is not addressed immediately, surgery may be required to remove the worms as they can be fatal to human beings.
In order to avoid that kind of situation, it is important for residents to stay inside their homes during floods. Leave the cleanups and heroic acts to the professional cleanup crews and authorities. One, they most probably have the equipment and proper safety gear to handle the situation. Two, they are also well trained and know exactly what to do in moments of danger and the like.
Another illness which is less commonly known is schistosomiasis which is basically a chronic disease that also comes from parasites found in dirty water. The mortality rate of the disease has been found to be quite low yet it is still troublesome as long term effects include the deterioration of internal organs. Also complications with the urinary tract may also occur as well as other symptoms.
Treatment of the disease is fairly simple as there are vaccines that are specifically made to target schistosomiasis. The difficult part lies in actually detecting the disease as the symptoms are not always clear and may take a while to pop up.
Given all the adverse effects of flood damage, it just proves to show how important t is for everyone to make themselves aware. It isn’t just the infrastructure and houses that are in danger but your health as well. For those reasons alone, everyone should be moved into action and do their part in helping prevent or at least limit the amount of damage done.
In order to this, the people in authority and experts should take it upon themselves to educate the public in the different hazards that come during flood damage. If the civilians are more aware of the possibilities then they will be more capable of dealing with it and asking for help if the need arises. Maybe there can be programs and classes that will instruct civilians on the different precautionary steps that can be taken to avoid these problems in case of a disaster.
Also, the local governments should be able to set up teams that will specifically take care of the structural damage immediately after a disaster. The sooner the community gets back on its feet, the less damaging will the disaster be on the economic status of the people living in the area. These teams should be constantly trained and updated to keep them in good shape because big time disasters usually come at the most unexpected moments. Another thing that can be done is to purchase the proper equipment to aid in the cleanup process. As mentioned, the faster things are done, the better it will be for everybody.
As you can see, the effects of flood damage go beyond that of fallen trees, scattered debris and eroding buildings. Now you know that your health is in just as much danger and if only you were to be aware, you will be able to avoid those problems altogether. Especially during times like these when everybody is very competitive and any unexpected event can spell major differences in your life, it is important to stay on your feet and not get sick. With that said, it would help if you took your own initiative and made yourself aware of the different possibilities out there that may hinder you from getting what you want. As for the local governments, they should continue to strive to make their communities a better place by helping out in every way that they can. If everybody cooperates, maybe someday, flood damage and all its wretched and devastating effects can become a thing of the past.