“”The Earth does not belong to us. We belong to the Earth.””
Water is extremely necessary to live. Every human being, animal, and plant existing in this world needs water to survive. There is no way anything alive can survive without water. Despite the essence of water in our lives, you cannot deny the ferocity it encompasses within itself. Excess of anything is bad even if its water. It can cause tremendous terror when instead of coming from the taps or visible in the confined forms of lakes and rivers it comes in the form of flood. Flood can be a general as well as a temporary situation where water accompanied by mudflow and debris swamps a large dry land. There can be numerous reasons for the occurrence of a flood, one of the most common of which are the rivers getting overfilled with water due to heavy rain. This causes it to overflow the banks and enter into the nearby regions. Floods cause an immense destruction of life and property.
Damages due to Flood:
Nature can be as fierce as it is giving. When the flood comes, it claims anything and everything that falls on its way. Floods destroy crops, houses and cattle. Another harm that floods cause is that they sweep away the fertile upper crust of land with it and leave behind unfertile and sometimes even barren land. Villages that are in low-lying areas get converted into large lakes after the flood. The people who get stuck in flood must be taken to a safer place, and if they are stuck in a place from where it is not possible to rescue them, then food should be supplied to them using air dropping.
Apart from the numerous immediate damages caused by flood, there are many other long-term losses that are incurred because the water takes a lot of time to withdraw. There have been many cases where even after months of floods the large areas appear as huge lakes. From such type of areas, water is taken out by methods such as pumping out water and relying on natural methods such as evaporation of water by the sun. When such situation occurs, it brings various diseases with it like Malaria, Cholera, etc. Such diseases cause a significant loss of life even after water get receded.
Reasons for flood:
In many areas, the reason of flood is heavy rainfall for a couple of months. The overflow of rivers takes place due to raining for a couple of months.
The other reason of overflow of the river can be the melting of snow from the mountains during the summer season. The melting of snow causes a huge discharge of water into the rivers consequently causing an overflow. Landslide is another reason floods occur even in areas situated much above the sea level. Because of landslides a lot of rocks fall into the rivers below it and causes silting of the river beds. Due to the silting of the river beds the flowing speed of water reduces and the result of it is a flood.
You might get surprised to know that human activities cause floods too. For many years now, the forest areas of the mountain regions are being cut to fulfill the needs of wood. Because of the cutting of trees the mountains have been converted into deserts as there are no trees there. When the rain comes, all the rain water falls directly into the rivers, and this causes floods. A quite considerable amount of melting of ice takes place in forests with a smaller number of trees. If there are trees on mountains, then there would be fewer chances of floods even after continuous rains because the soil of the forests is soft due to trees. Due to this draining of water takes place and instead of flowing down instantly into the rivers and streams below, it drains below the surface. With no trees to soften up the soil and allow absorption of moisture, the water will in all probability run down causing floods.
How to prevent floods?
The best thing that people can do to prevent flood is to plant trees and contribute towards afforestation on a huge level further leading to soil conservation.
The other remedy for preventing floods is storing a part of early monsoon water and using that water during the dry season. Many projects must be started so that floods can be controlled, and power supply can be increased.
How to prepare for a flood?
Floods cause a lot of damage to people’s life, property and much more. Floods can cause deaths, injuries, damage major infrastructure, destroy property, etc. So you need to be prepared for the possibility of a flood more so if you live in an area with a water body around.
- Prepare a household flood plan.
- Go to the local council and ask for local flood plans.
- A list of emergency contacts should be kept on the display of the phone.
- Recheck your insurance policy to see that flood damage is covered under the policy or not. If you are buying or investing in a new property, conduct proper research if it comes with compensation for damages caused by the flood.
All these are long term preparations that you must be ready with irrespective of whether there is a flood warning or not. Once the flood warning has been given, and you have been asked to evacuate the place as soon as possible, the only time you have left is to pick up your emergency kit and leave. Therefore, the first step towards preparing for anything is to start with an emergency kit. Here is how you must prepare one.
- Collect and secure all the important items including important identification documents and passports etc. after placing them in a waterproof packet.
- Gather all the electrical items such as lamps and table lights and place them on top of something, so they are at a height from the ground.
- Collect all the necessary medicines including prescription drugs, and secure them in a waterproof case. Place them in a first aid kit that must also include your daily hygiene products and insect repellents.
- According to the number of members of the family, pack life jackets so that you don’t drown even if you get stuck in water before you can escape.
- Rubber boots and waterproof gloves.
- If you are planning to move out in your car, then you must have all the supplies for your car.
- Sleeping bags and maps.
- Food comes in as an important necessity. Floods can arrive without a prior warning. You can be sleeping in your bed, or you can be sitting and working on your desk in your office. Once the situation goes out of control and you cannot move to a safer place anymore, you have to stay where you are until the water level recedes or until help arrives. Since every bit of food in the fridge, packaged food, and canned food is destroyed by the impact of the flood the only considerable alternative is MRE or Meals Ready To Eat. You can find more about our products here.
- These amazing ready to eat food packages are robust and impact resistant given their sturdy packaging. So no matter how much the MRE packs flow in water, you can always eat them without worrying about the quality of food you are consuming.
- The packing of MREs is done in a hermetically sealed environment, so the nutrient value of MRE food never declines for the period for which it is supposed to last which is three days to five years.
- Every pack of MRE or Meals, Ready to eat contains 13000 calories that are enough for one person for a day.
- Because you are stuck in water, you don’t have to worry about eating bland food too because MREs offer immense variety and supreme taste that you cannot find in any other kind of food you eat during a disaster such as this.
- An MRE pack for a day contains meals for the full day so once you have that one pack with you; there is no need to worry about food for the rest of the day.
- Most importantly, MREs or Meals Ready to Eat are named that way because they are in fact ready to eat, right out of the box.
MREs must be considered by the disaster relief agencies as well because with their packaging, their food quantity, the taste and the nutritional value, all they have to do is supply a pack for a day for every person to cater the food needs. You must have MREs stocked at your home for a situation just like this one so that you can pick them up as they are and get out of the place as soon as you can.
- Floods mean water and though water is all around you, there is not one drop of that water that is drinkable. Therefore, arrangements also need to be made to cater to the water needs of the people affected.
- Water bottles are considerable alternatives but not so much given the damage that the bottles can suffer as they are not impact-resistant.
- MREs also have a range of water supplies that provide packets of drinking water that is safe according to all standards and is in a packet that is resistant towards any external impact. They can be supplied as a drinking water through airlift to people who are stuck in regions that are surrounded by water and debris floating all around. You can also add these packets to the emergency kit according to the number of people considering the requirement of five gallons per person per day.
- Relocate to a much safer place and take your pets with you too.
- Keep listening to the local radio to get all the latest information about the flood and where it has reached. Listening to the radio will give you an idea of the direction in which you should head plus the advice that they give on the radio comes in quite handy in such a situation where you cannot call anyone as all the phone lines are either damaged or jammed.
- Go to a place that is at a higher elevation than the place from where you are coming.
- Before leaving your home, turn off your electricity and gas supplies.
- Steer clear of any place where the water is above the level of your knee.
- Do not eat food that has tasted flood water because that will cause illness.
- Avoid going into the floodwater. However, if there is an emergency and you must enter it then wear solid shoes because the debris that the floodwater contains can injure your feet. Also, before you enter, check the depth of the water using a stick or any long object.