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How to get ready for floods (20)

Floods are one of the most frequent predicaments in our country. The Fire Rescue Service of the South Moravian Region in partnership with the Police of the Czech Republic - the city police headquarters of Brno and Diocesan Charity of Brno will advise you how to prepare for floods and what to do when the water lowers.

 

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What are floods?

A flood is considerable temporary rising of water level of watercourses or other surface water when water has already flooded the area out of the bed and may cause damages. Another case is if water cannot temporarily drain away from a certain area in a natural way, or if the water run-off is insufficient. Sometimes floods are caused due to interflowing of rainfall water.

Floods division

We recognize 2 types of floods:

  • natural flood: - caused by natural disasters (thaw, rainfall, ice movement)
  • special flood: - caused by civilization impacts (a damage of a hydroelectric dam, which may lead to a general average - e.g. a dam burst)

Special floods are more serious. They may set in unexpectedly and their impact would be catastrophic. However, the emergence of a special flood is less probable than a natural one.

We recognize the next levels of flood activity (LFA)

1. LFA = ALERTNESS

  • it arises in case of flood danger and lapses when the cause of the danger passes away
  • it is every situation determined by predicting flood service as LFA
  • in the case of 1-LFA the watercourse does not get out, does not even overflow, so there are no physical damages to property.

2. LFA = EMERGENCY

  • it is announced by a particular flood authority when the danger of flood is turning into a flood and when there already is a flood, but the water does not overflow and there are no big damages out of the riverbed
  • in the case of 2-LFA first overflows appear, however, they do not make big damages to property
  • mostly it is just fields and nearby vegetation by banks which get flooded
  • flood authorities and other sectors of flood services get activated

3. LFA = DANGER

  • it is announced by a particular flood authority during the flood if there is an imminent danger or if there are bigger damages, and if property and lives are endangered in the flood zone
  • in the case of 3 - LFA towns and municipalities get flooded. Therefore, security and rescue measures are provided.

You can get the up-to-date information about the rate of flow and particular levels of flood activity in South Moravia on the web page of Povodí Moravy, s.p. www.pmo.cz

How to get prepared for floods

If you live in a flood-zone, prepare for floods in advance (as for long-term measures as well as for immediate steps to solve the problem of a current danger of flooding dwellings).

a) long-term preparation

  • if you intent to build a house, find a place which will not get flooded. If you decide to build your house in a flood-zone (in a passive flood-zone only - it is banned in an active one), mind you have to include some extra expenses for anti-flood finishing of your house (and also that insurance companies might not be willing to insure your house)
  • go to the local (municipal) authority and find out how high your house may get flooded during a natural flood and how long it takes to a torrential wave to get to your municipality during a special flood (if there is a danger of it at your place of living)
  • if your house has already been built, consider possible finishing construction which will protect your property (e.g. insulation, backflaps in the pipeline...) - you will obtain this information from specialized companies (e.g. at Envibrno - Watenvi fare trade which is held every year)

b) short-term preparation (just before leaving your property)

  • if you are an owner of a car, prepare it for evacuation or move it in time to a safe place
  • take away your pets and cattle to a shelter
  • prepare some means for security measures (sandbags ...)
  • turn off the water mains, gas supply and electricity input
  • put out the open fire
  • prepare evacuative luggage for all members of your family
  • get information about the transport and place where you will move to in case of evacuation
  • move the material possessions in the house to places which are not endangered by floods (top floors)
  • stop up plumbing and outlet on the ground floor and in the basement
  • watch the news in media
  • remove or fix properly objects around the house which can easily get washed away
  • do not leave dangerous chemicals in the building (neither out of it), which are within easy reach of water
  • follow instructions of authorities of your municipality and the rescue team (esp. during evacuation)
  • at leaving secure the entrance and windows of your house

You will find more information about how to behave while leaving your home and where to hide during floods in chapters "How to act when leaving the house/building during evacuation?" and "Improvised shelter - where and how to hide in case of danger".

What should you focus on after floods?

Check your dwelling, especially:

  • distortion of the building
  • fitness for habitation of the flat/house
  • power distribution system (gas, electricity)
  • condition of the well
  • condition of plumbing and water distribution
  • unless the ground water level drops, do not pump water from basements of houses (pressure rate - danger of collapse)

According to public health officer's instructions:

  • dispose of food affected by water
  • dispose of field crops affected by water
  • dispose of dead domestic animals killed by flood (always use protective means!)
  • report the occurrence of other people's dead domestic and wild animals to the public health officer
  • do not drink water from local water supplies unless it has been approved by the public health officer as drinking water

Find out about places of humanitarian aid and if necessary, ask the local (municipal) authority for next:

  • financial aid
  • drinking water, food, seasonal clothes, hygienic needs
  • necessary tools (for clearing away flood damages)
  • other necessary means and instruments (disinfection, protective equipment, etc. )

While restoring wells and drinking water supplies follow the instructions of specialists and ensure the next:

  • cleansing of the well and draining polluted water
  • chemical treatment of water in your well
  • laboratory test of water quality
  • public health officer's permit to usage of restored drinking water supply

Contact your insurance company to claim damages:

  • notify a claim to the insurance company in accordance with insurance clauses
  • make a list of damages, or possibly exemplify (photos, surveying, receipts, witness)
  • when the incident is being processed, follow instructions of the insurance company
  • when the case is closed, you will be provided indemnity

If possible, become actively involved in clearing away results of floods:

  • the local (municipal) authority is to give you information about options how to get involved in restoring work
  • act deliberately, help your neighbours, elderly and ill people
  • follow the instructions of local administrative authorities
  • keep hygienic principals while working in flood struck area and mind to have all open wounds treated
  • self-help at eliminating damages caused by floods is possible in most of cases; do not underestimate long-term work in extreme conditions
  • eliminating flood damages is a long-term process which requires material, financial, and psychological support; mutual help and social care for flood-stricken ones is mostly necessary and it is convenient to use it as much as possible.

www.pmo.cz

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