Plan to investigate and assess the flood damage in the city By Essay
Plan to investigate and assess the flood damage in the city By
The major reason for this plan is to provide information to the City Council regarding the damages caused by a flood that was experienced currently in the city and also recommend ways of improving the mitigation program so as to reduce the damages. The plan will also assess the measures that had been put in place before the flood took place and the effectiveness of those measures. The plan will involve assessing those areas that were hardly hit by the flood; this will be done through traveling to different areas affected by the flood.
To assess the damage caused by the flood areas that received major damages to property and to lives will first be assessed. During the assessment it is necessary to gather information from the people who were affected by or involved in the rescue teams during the flood. To assess the public safety issues in the City I will meet with individuals from all sectors that dealt with law enforcement, medical assistance, fire prevention and all the volunteer organizations during and after the flood.
The law enforcers will provide information regarding the safety of the public during and after the flood. So as to have high quality information during the assessment I will interview those law enforcement officers who were present at the time of the flood (Hunt et al, 1993). The information provided by the police will assist in investigating how the police department tackles cases flood disasters in the city. The other group that will be interviewed during the assessment is the local authorities.
The local authorities will offer information to assess their preparedness incase of a natural disaster like a flood. The local authorities have the responsibility of developing a mitigation plan in case of a flood. The same group will also provide estimates of the property that was damaged during and after the flood so as to come up with an estimate figure of the property destroyed by the disaster. Senior local authority officers will be interviewed although the plan will emphasize on interviewing those officers who witnessed the disaster so as to acquire first hand information.
The other group that will be interviewed will be the City’s Department of Emergency Management; which is supposed to coordinate the disaster relief and also mobilize all the available groups in the relief exercise. This Department will provide information to assist in assessing the available assistance incase of floods or natural disasters in the City. Officers from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will also be interviewed in the plan as this is the federal agency that is supposed to oversee issues of disaster management within the city.
FEMA will provide information on estimates of the property that was destroyed during and after the flood. Volunteer organizations that assisted in the relief efforts during and after the flood will also be interviewed. These organizations which include the Red Cross will provide their own estimates of the losses incurred during and after the flood. Medical and health officials who took part in provision of medical assistance during and after the flood will be interviewed in the assessment plan to gather in formation regarding the health and medical conditions that resulted due to the flood.
All the medical organizations which were involved in the relief exercise will be interviewed in the assessment plan and the information collected will be treated as primary data because the organizations witnessed the flood. The local community that was affected by the flood will be interviewed and direct observations made in the affected areas. The local community will provide information that will be used to assess the property damage because the organizations mentioned above can only provide an estimate of the loss incurred due to the flood.
With the help of the affected community, observations will be made to come up with an estimate of the damage caused by the flood. The affected community will also provide information on the preparedness of the relief teams that were deployed in the area during and after the flood. To assess the extent of the damage on the buildings, building inspectors will be on the affected region and their information will provide an estimate of the damages caused on property and buildings by the flood disaster.
To investigate the disaster a GIS methodology would be used so as to derive a flood hazard mapping and the level of the risk within the City. So as to derive the flood map it will be necessary to digitize the contours available on the topographic maps to develop a Digital Elevation Model (DEM) at a certain resolution for the whole region. So as to have an effective surface interpolation, a technique called cubic spline will be used to carry out the interpolation exercise. The land use or cover of the City will be derived from Landsat images to assist in the investigation of the flood.
To effectively investigate the flood disaster it is necessary to carry out a flood risk analysis based on the estimated runoff coefficients from the different land covers in the City (Miller, 2007). During the process of investigating the flood disaster it is necessary to gather information from education institutions in the City that are currently carrying out research in disaster management and especially floods. Researchers concern with the issues of floods will also provide information useful in assessing the risk of the flood and developing mitigation measures for future disasters.
After the assessment of the damages caused by the flood and investigation into the disaster it was found out that more than 50% of the property that was located on the flood plain was damaged during and after the flood. This is a clear indication that there were no major improvements to reduce the damages incurred during floods as compared to the previous flood which occurred five years ago. The following reasons could be attributed to the lack of improvements in the damage control. Flooding occurs when there is an unusual high stream flow that overtops the river or water courses within a certain area.
Man’s continued encroachment on the flood plain may have been the major reason for the high levels of damages. Since the occurrence of the previous flood five years ago, the community should have been advised on the dangers of increased encroachment in the flood plain. Encroachment of the community in the flood plain leads to construction and on the flood plain and when the flood occur all the structures and other properties are destroyed. This is a reason for the destruction considering the fact that there had been another flood in the same area five years ago.
Lack of effective flood control structures in the area may have also resulted to the high levels of damages witnessed during the flood. This is as a result of poor design and construction of the flood control structures. Poor design is due to either lack of experienced designers or application of a low level of the design storm in the design of the structures. Design storm is used in the design of flood control structures so as to ensure that in case of a flood the damages caused will be minimal.
When the actual storm is more than the design storm used in the design of the flood control structures it is likely that the structures will fail. Poor design of the structures leads to washing away of the structures resulting to fatal damages on property and human life in the affected region. Lack of proper means of communication would have led to the high damages experienced during the flood. Effective communication before, during and after a flood is necessary to reduce the damages caused by the flood.
An effective early warning system should have been put in place to notify the people and the appropriate authorities incase of a flood. An effective early warning system helps reduce the damage because property and human beings are moved from the risky areas to safer regions in the city hence reducing the damage. If the information provided by the warning systems indicate that a flood is imminent then information should be passed over to the community and operations initiated to move those who are at high risks due to the flood.
During the flood there should be an effective means of communication between all the organizations carrying out the rescue exercise. As compared to the flood which occurred five years ago it is clear that early warning systems have not been improved from that time because any improvement would have helped reduce the damage through effective rescue operations and communications. The authorities with the responsibility of reducing the damages caused by floods should have also incorporated some innovative flood mitigation measures to reduce the damage of the flood.
The major idea involved in the innovative mitigation measures is integrating the public especially those on the flood prone areas into mitigation planning operations. If innovative mitigation measures had been put in place after the flood five years ago then the damage would have been significantly reduced this time. Some of the strategies that would have been put in place include training the public on flood awareness, use of flood symbols in the city, provision of flood related maps and resilience during the flood (Hunt et al, 1993).
Another measure would have been to formulate policies that require people to realize flood prevention measures in their homes and hence the people play a more active role in the planning process of the mitigation measures. Spatial planning features should also have been incorporated in planning of the mitigation program. The other strategy is to include the right people and agencies in the planning process; this ensures that the right groups are well prepared incase of a flood hence reducing the damages caused by the flood.
All the agencies and organizations to be involved in the rescue and relief exercise should have adequate staff and equipment so as to carry out their work effectively. One of the major recommendations that would help reduce the damage of floods is incorporating all the concern and affected groups into the design and planning of the mitigation program. This would ensure that all the organizations and individuals are well prepared to reduce the damages of the flood. The other recommendation is to improve the current early warning system so that the system is effective.
An effective early warning system will ensure that those people who are in flood prone areas are rescued at an appropriate time hence minimizing the damages. The general principle concerning the necessity and implementation of mitigation measures in this case is to reduce the damage caused by the flood as compared to previous floods. The following are the main reasons for implementing the mitigation measures in the City: The mitigation measures assist in the analysis of the Vulnerability and risk assessment in the city.
The mitigations measures are also necessary to ensure there is technology transfer and advancement in technology. The mitigation measures provide public awareness, training and institutional incentives. Land use planning and land policies are developed based on the mitigation measures in the city. Mitigation measures are also necessary in construction in that they provide for construction of resistant buildings and reinforced buildings according to the level of the expected disaster.
Apart from flood control and damage reduction the mitigation measures are also important in flood barricading, land use planning, flood warning, levee protection and protection of catchments to ensure the water levels in the rivers do not subside below the optimum levels. WORD COUNT: 1, 937 REFERENCE LIST Hunt, James, Carter, Bruce, Kelly and Frank, (1993), clearly defined chain-of-command helps mobilize oil spill responders, occupational health and safety 62, (6); pp. 40 Miller C. (2007), The introduction and expansion of GIS into a Small Local Health Department Drinking- Water Program, journal of Environmental Health, 69(6), pp. 35-41