Flood Lessons Learnt

Well, my concept of having a room on a pontoon in https://adelaidepete.wordpress.com/2011/01/06/bushfires-and-floods-sense/
may not have been such a good one! Ferocious flash flood currents can rip them from their footings. Tethering and piles really need to be ‘over-engineered’ to cope with such events.

Many customs need to be re-assessed to cope with such mega-floods:

  1. emergency public broadcasts should be preceded by a distinctive attention-getting fanfare and include signing for the deaf plus automatically-superimposed captioning;
  2. multi-storey  buildings should have electricity substations higher than the basement or ground floor and both petrol station and homestead generators need to be installed high; perhaps on top of water towers;
  3. safety-line attachment points ought be on roofs & trap doors onto roofs considered;
  4. homes on piles might streamline the side from which flood currents are likely and use steel straps to secure the home to those piles and roof to the walls;
  5. vulnerably located homeowners should consider getting portable car boost starter units that have inverters and 230 volt and 12 volt power outlets or at least battery powered mobile phone recharge appliances, spare batteries & even a portable-loo;
  6. we should warehouse pre-filled sandbags on small pallets (both car-boot & utility-tray sized) in flood plain areas;
  7. life buoys should be placed along the railings of bridges in flood-prone areas;
  8. building codes & individual council approvals should cater better for flood risk – i.e. digital mapping driving extra requirements if at flood risk;
  9. insurance companies should be required to write annually to homes in flood risk areas to notify existing coverage & quote for flood risk coverage if not in place;
  10. pertinent web-pages to should be ready, put in place faster & better publicized to the public – these would:
    * facilitate registering where displaced folk are, and finding them as well as
    * displaying continually updated maps of emerging threats & safe routes to take;
  11. Don’t locate public critical facilities in flood plains – esp. hospitals, police & fire stations, heavy equipment yards, food distribution centres;
  12. publicly broadcast briefings and ticker-tape TV messages need to include very early on and repetitive advice for:
  • turning off power at the meter as well as mains water & gas as a flood rises,
  • putting any household poisons high up in waterproof containers,
  • placing sandbags in toilet bowls & on internal drains
    (otherwise flood waters might push sewage into your home),
  • appropriate web page URLs and radio stations to tune to,
  • where to take your family, irreplaceable belongings & pets and to go early,
  • communicating to someone just where, just who & just how you are all going to someone elsewhere and leaving a prominent notice saying the same thing perhaps on or over the fridge,
  • having a landline phone that does not need power high up & a charged mobile phone on your person,
  • requests to minimize phone calls to avoid jamming the network for urgent calls,
  • making sure that you have battery-powered radiostorches that work, safe drinking water and a backpack for irreplaceable items (important certificates /documents, prescriptions, jewelry & portable data backups),  and essentials like your medicationsspectacles & toiletries like toothbrushes with you all in sealed waterproof bags;
  • moving & securing vehicles;
  • having a plan for your pets & animals survival chances in flood (& fire) threats too; and
  • checking on neighbors nearby – esp. the elderly, handicapped or aged – but not on foot once the water is in the street given unexpected drain currents that might sweep you off your feet.

Readers: Please contribute additional ideas that you might see as pertinent…


About adelaidepete

Now live in Adelaide South Australia and have always worked in Systems & Software Engineering. I am enjoying commenting on, suggesting and discussing innovative solutions to problems and useful risk mitigation strategies and recently interested in the realm of public policy re urban planning & disasters - the focus of this blog. I am interested in technology, gadgetry, enhancing productivity & functionality, urban planning, military thinking and public policy. I enjoyed periods I spent in USA (Reston, Virginia Beach & Dallas) & Europe (Germany, Spain, Italy & Greece) but genuinely love Australia, most people, animals, singing, dancing & life.
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