Flood: Necessary Government Response
As floods are one of the most predictable disasters, there are significant responses and preventative techniques governments can and should employ regardless of economic and political status. First, governments must understand that certain regions or areas of their land are geographically predisposed to flooding and diminished soil absorptive capabilities. With this recognition, government officials should place increased emphasis on providing for these lands generally identified by the softer soils of littoral coastlines or those surrounding alluvial plains near rivers. This emphasis would be categorized as preventative techniques including mandating deeply set iron foundations, elevated ground floors and manning continuous weather monitoring services in prime flooding months- those months encompassed during the rainy seasons, hurricane season or seasonal monsoons in varying global regions.
The first and most important goal of flood response is immediate and substantive deployment of emergency planning officials and military personnel.
In terms of disaster response, governments play a supremely critical role as citizens are limited in ways they can protect and respond to flooding. The first and most important goal of flood response is immediate and substantive deployment of emergency planning officials and military personnel. These two groups of people share similar experiences and talents in succeeding and making the best of unique and perilous environments. Local police officials can also be used, but rather than situating them alongside the national military patrolmen, these officials should be stationed around the flooded areas maintaining order and using their regional knowledge to direct incoming military vehicles and machinery.
Once enough personnel are procured, the local and regional government should extensively work on resituating electric shortages and disruptions with the water and waste supplies while national government persons should man boats and began traversing the floodwaters in search of stranded citizens. These hours immediately following the rain or overflowing of the river banks are most crucial because this is the time in which paranoia and uncertainty would be settling over the citizens of the area. Government officials should include food supplies and medical kits in these boats as stranded individuals may be malnourished and in need of medical attention.
After the driving force of the flooding ceases (i.e. rain slowing down), helicopters, if available, would be the most ideal method to locate and retrieve individuals ineffectively found and rescued by boat. Using these helicopters, also, officials can determine the status and damage with greater accuracy. This information then allows the government officials to plan the coming course of action. At the point where most of the stranded civilians have been extracted from their homes or buildings, the next phase of response should begin: removal of water. When officials can ensure that the water is relatively stagnant and is only moving due to the natural gradient of the land, they can then use machinery like pumps to expel the water from the city. Pumps use the pressure differential between the surface and underneath the water to push the water from low lying areas and leaves them free to “dry.” Simultaneously, government officials can use underwater suction devices placed at peripheries of the flooding zone. These suction devices would draw water in from the interior of the zone and channel it away from the township and into a major water body such as a lake, river, sea or ocean. Ultimately, floods require immediate and necessary government response to ensure the safety of the individuals in the flooding zone and to protect the buildings and economies of the region.
Recent national government response to events like the 2000 Mozambique flood or the flood caused by Hurricane Katrina in 2005 show that there is significant progress to be made.