What is the importance in educating the public to minimise the impacts of their disaster on the community?
Awareness and education in general gives the public an understanding and comprehension of the impacts and consequences of any natural disaster, such as in this case flooding. The more we are able to provide education on flooding, the more the public can create disaster contingencies and plans to counteract and minimise the effects that flooding will have on their properties and life overall. These disaster recovery plans should include not only explanations on how to salvage and save property and personal items, but also more importantly, how to save themselves, their families and their loved ones from the devastating side effects of flooding which include diseases such as typhoid fever and cholera, dehydration issues that come from contamination to the after plain, and of course the more common occurrences of drowning. Finally, awareness and education of flooding has already been proven to have made a difference in other regional areas of Australia, where they plan their crop rotations to be less affected by farming and collecting produce around the more commonly occurring flooding types.
What to do before a flood?
The best ways we can prepare before the disaster that will happen in Picton from the flood that is causing to harm people and towns is by, going to high grounds,( for example, a Tall Mountain ), which will be very safety when the floods comes in, flowing in from the sea or from the increase of rain that they had have for a couple of years. Another best way is that, you need to have a disaster first aid kit, and another way is to find a best evacuation plan that will let you evacuate safely. The last best way is to get rid of anything that is made out of electricity, because electricity conducts with water and it will cause a really good amount of damage.
What to do during a flood?
During floods the key is to be be alert, monitor your surroundings, monitor the weather on your radio, local television and radio stations.
Try avoiding driving, Andy if you must drive, travel with care and m ake sure your vehicle has enough fuel. If the vehicle stalls, abandon it.If water rises around your car, leave the vehicle immediately. Climb to higher ground as quickly as possible. Families should use only one vehicle to avoid getting separated and reduce traffic jams. NEVER drive through flooded roadways. STOP! Turn Around Don’t Drown. You can lose control of your vehicle in only a few inches of water. Your car may float. Vehicles can be swept away by less than 2 feet of water. Do not drive around a barricade. Turn around and go another way!
• Avoid disaster areas. Your presence might hamper rescue or other emergency operations and put you at further risk. Watch for washed out roads, earth slides, and downed trees or power lines.
• Be especially cautious at night, when it is harder to recognize flood dangers. Get to high ground – Climb to safety!
• Get out of low areas that may be subject to flooding.
• Avoid already-flooded areas and do not attempt to cross flowing water.
• Stay away from power lines and electrical wires.
• Evacuate immediately, if you think you are at risk or are advised to do so!
• Act quickly. Save yourself, not your belongings.
• Shut off water, gas, and electrical services before leaving.
• Secure your home: lock all doors and windows.
• If directed to a specific location, go there.
• Never try to walk or swim through flowing water.
• If flowing water is above your ankles, STOP! Turn around and go another way.
• If it is moving swiftly, water 6 inches deep can knock you off your feet.
• NEVER allow children to play around high water, storm drains, creeks, or rivers.
If someone falls in or is trapped in flood water:
• Do not go after the victim!
• Use a floatation device. If possible throw the victim something to help them float, such as a spare tire, large ball, or foam ice chest.
What to do after a flood?
After a flood, having utilised the emergency kit, it is important to get to local community amenities such as public hospitals and doctors, to check upon the health of all family members and loved ones. Having done this, the next step is to ensure a healthy source of ongoing hydration and nutrition is identified and used to avoid post flooding illnesses such typhoid dysentery and cholera which are caused by high levels of poisonous bacteria spread through the community as a result of contamination to the Picton water plain, table lands and ecosystems, caused by the flooding.
Finally property and personal items may need to be cleaned and disinfected due to the effects of flooding, whilst farming properties will also need assessing and preparations put in place to ensure soil contamination is minimised and eliminated. This last step, whilst identified as a final step, is the largest step in terms of time and effort but can only be achieved once the proceeding steps of human health and safety have first been assured and maintained.
Maps and charts providing information such as evacuation routes and meeting points
Household Emergency Kit
During and After Flooding
The natural disaster planning kit that I have put together for flooding in the area of Picton provides for a family of four, the basic necessities to ensure that they can get through a 10 day period on their own, should they become stranded and cut off from society due to the flooding of roads and surrounding areas. The basics of the emergency pack include:
- 2 litres of water for each person per day.
- Canned food that does not require heating, covering breakfast lunch and dinner for each person each day.
- A first aid kit, which includes extra items to combat typhoid and cholera diseases.
- Communication equipment such as mobile phones, CB radios and a flare gun with recharges to gain attention in an emergency.
- Finally, the most important part of the emergency pack will be a separate box containing life vests, rope and a small inflatable dinghy in case of the need for an emergency evacuation.
The emergency kit (outside of the above mentioned life vests and dinghy) whilst seeming large, would actually be contained in a large waterproof box with the bulk of ingredients being the water for rehydration. This emergency pack overall provides for nutrition, hydration, communication and evacuation during and after the flood effects.
Article Title: Before, During and After a Flood
Website title: Susquehannafloodforecasting.org