VIEWS: 6 PAGES: 11 POSTED ON: 9/27/2011
S1 Flooding Homework by Ben Heidemann Page 1 Part 1 – Flood damage Our house is built on a slope so the ground floor is beneath street level. There is a river in the back garden. This means that water could come up from the river or down from the road. For my report I have chosen the living room, kitchen and studio all on the ground floor. First I will list the contents of these rooms in groups, then describe the damage that would be done to the items and the rooms. I have added photos that show the level of flooding in the rooms. Contents: Living room: Our living room is 50cm lower than the rest of our ground floor so it would be flooded to 110cm. There are many things wooden which would be damaged: armchairs sofa wood panelling piano carom board wooden steps book shelf guitars chest of drawers window sill and also some other things that would also be affected by the water: flower pots radio walls carpets speakers table (metal) wall paper sockets pillows radiators Kitchen: Page 2 Ther e are man y electr ical items in the kitch en: f r e e z e r s dishwasher ockets electrical kitchen tools central heating boiler such as mixers or blender Wooden things in the kitchen include: table cupboards doors floor chairs Other things in the kitchen that would be damaged by this height of water are: towels curtain food and dog food walls bin Studio: Again there are many wooden things in the studio: pa bi int n in fl gs oo ch r es bo t ok of sh dr el a ve w s er w chair s ork top legs but a few other items that would be damaged by water as well: printer printing paper data on pc sockets radiator documents art materials walls Damage: All wooden things would be warped as a result of becoming wet and they might rot. Books in the book shelf and paper in the drawers would get soaked and stick together. Fabrics and soft furnishings such as pillows, towels, curtain and carpets would get soaked, soiled and rot. Water into the sockets would cause a short circuit. Water into the electrical appliances might also cause a short circuit but would also break these devices. Data saved on the pc would be lost. Wall paper and plaster would come off the wall. Metal things like the table in the living room and all the radiators would rust. The flower pots would turn over and the flowers and soil would spill out. The bins would spill. Food would rot or be spoilt. Art materials and printing paper would soak and become unusable. Part 2 – Effects of flooding If flooding reaches 60cm in our ground floor, the street will not be affected. However there are many houses in the village that are also below street level that would also be flooded. The sewage pipes are also lower than the street. After 1 day of flooding... The main problems would be damage to our property, worry and inconvenience for my family. We would stay in our house because we could still use the entire upstairs floor which has a door to the main street. I would have to eat dry food or go to a restaurant because the freezer, fridge and cooker are on the ground floor and would not work. Me and my brother would be able to go to school because the street wouldn't be flooded, but my school things and shoes would have got wet. My dad could work if he parked his car on the road, but my mum couldn't because her art studio would be flooded. There would be no electricity and no clean water or sewage which means there wouldn't be any electronic entertainment such as the computer or the TV and the phone wouldn't work. We could not shower or use the toilet. There would be no heating or light. The dog would be fine but wouldn't have any food because it would be wet and flooded in the shed along with the cat's food. The cat would be stuck in the shed and we would have to rescue it. The hens would be OK because there at road level but would also have no food apart from grass. The house could be repaired if the flooding only lasted a few days, but we would have to replace a lot of damaged items and furniture. After 1 week of flooding... We would have to be evacuated because the house would not be safe or healthy to stay in. We would give the hens to a farmer or set them free, the dog would be given to friends or a kennel and the cat would be given to a friend or cattery. The longer the flood lasted the worse the damage would be. People's lives and health would be affected. We might be able to go to school depending on where we would stay. My dad would go to work but my mum would not. We would not have the computers, TV or toys. I might not be able to see my friends or do my hobbies. Life would become very difficult and we would need a lot of help from other people. The village shops would be closed along with the primary school. The house would be an easy target for robbers and vandals. Farmers with low lying fields would loose land, live stock, crops and suffer damage to there buildings and equipment. There might be structural damage to the house and it would become unsafe and might collapse eventually. Part 3 – Who can help? There are many services that can help if your house gets flooded. These include: The police The police can co-ordinate the emergency services in big floods and help with the evacuation of people from their homes when needed. The fire brigade The fire brigade can rescue people who have been trapped by the flood and must be evacuated. They may also pump out the flood water once the flooding has stopped. The ambulance services The ambulance take people who have been injured by the flood to the hospital. They can also give first aid. The council The council will work with the police and fire services and the Environment Agency to co-ordinate responses during big floods, provide advice to the public about the flooding and what to do, set up rest centres for people who have been evacuated from their homes and arrange temporary shelters for the people who have can't go anywhere else and where possible they might give out sandbags and other emergency provisions such as water and food. The government The government is responsible for flood defences and for flood warnings. They also provides the Flood Line information service(0845 988 1188). Part 4 – Reduce damage There are many things that can be done to reduce the damage flooding can cause to things and people. Most of these things can be done by ourselves. The council and other agencies can also help. Things we can do ourselves: Be prepared and make a floodplan for your house. Listen to Radio Tay (96.4 - 102.8 fm) for flood warnings and information. You can also call Floodline. Watch if the flooding is getting worse. You may need to call the emergency services or leave your house. Stay safe! Always listen to the advice from the emergency services and evacuate when they tell you to. Staying in your house may put your life in danger. To stop water getting into your house you could put sandbags or flood guards at the doors or windows. You could also make your own sand bags by putting sand or soil in a pillowcase. Smear silicone sealant around doors and windows to stop water getting in. Cover doors, windows and airbricks with plywood, sandbags or metal sheeting. Plug up your sinks and baths and weigh the plugs down so water can't rise up through them. You should move your car to a higher level to prevent it from getting broken, if this is possible without risk to yourself. The water from the tap may become unsafe to drink. To stop illness, fill jugs and saucepans with clean water or have enough bottled water in the house. Also wash your hands thoroughly if you have touched floodwater. You have to turn off gas and electricity if you can safely do it. Do not touch sources of electricity when you are standing in water. You may get electrocuted! Unplug electrical appliances. To prevent valuable or essential items getting lost or damaged you should move them upstairs or above the water level. Keep important personal documents in a sealed bag wawy from the flood. Roll up carpets and rugs and put them upstairs. If there is no time to take down curtains, hang them up over the rail so they are kept above the water level. If you can, remove internal doors and store them upstairs to stop them from warping. Disconnect any appliances that use water such as washing machines and dishwashers. Put heavy things on manhole covers outside the house so they don't float away and leave a dangerous hole. If you have to leave, lock all door and windows so nothing can get stolen in your absence. Get children and pets safely inside your house. Don't watch the water rise from your door or try to walk or drive across flooded areas. This is dangerous. Floods can rise very quickly. Help from others: You can buy things from some companies that stop water getting into your house, such as sand bags and flood gates. SEPA has a list of products and companies. If you are being flooded from a sewer you can call Scottish Water on 0845 600 8855. Your friends and family can help you and let you stay with them if you have to leave your house. If you think you might get flooded, you can listen to Floodline or the local radio. The fire brigade may pump water out of your house. If the flood is caused by a blocked river or stream, e.g. through a fallen tree, the council may help by unblocking the watercourse or by diverting the water. The town or council may use its flood defences to stop the water from reaching your house. Sand bags are being used to divert the water away from houses. Part 5 - Flood prevention: Flooding is a natural event. It occurs when there is heavy rainfall making rivers burst their banks. It can also happen at the coast when there are very high tides or storms. Flooding also happens when there is a blocked drain and water has no where to go to. This is called sewer flooding. This means that places near the sea or on flood plains are in most in danger of getting flooded. The climate is changing and we can expect more heavy rainfall. The sea levels may also rise. This makes flooding more likely in the future. However there are ways to prevent flooding: The Government: The government cannot completely prevent flooding but they can minimise the risk of flooding. The Scottish Executive do the planning for the flood defences and also pay for things. SEPA: SEPA(Scottish Environment Protection Agency) assist Local Authorities by giving them information on flood risks and giving advice on the preparation and maintenance of flood defences. The Environment Agency and DEFRA: The Environment Agency and DEFRA (the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) build new flood gates to stop flooding and also spend a lot of money in maintaining the existing flood barriers such as the Themes flood barrier. They have also made a detailed flood map showing them where flooding is likely. Instead of using expensive flood barriers, the government is now trying to use more natural flood management methods called soft defences or managed realignment. This means the floodwater is redirected to salt marshes, mudflats or floodplains. The advantages are that this is cheaper and even helps wildlife, but soft defences use up more space. In Perth, the floodwater from the river Tay is redirected into the Inch when there is a risk of flooding. This is an example of managed realignment. The Scottish Executive and Scottish Water are investing in sustainable urban drainage systems (SUDS) to decrease the chance of sewer flooding in cities. The Environment Agency also regularly dredges channels and watercourses, de-silts rivers and cut back the plants along rivers where necessary. This stops the rivers from blocking up and overflowing. There are other flood defences like pumping stations and which pump water away from built up flood plains. Finally, the government should discourage people from building houses on floodplains and in low-lying areas with a flood risk. At the moment they are doing the opposite! The Thames flood barrier A floodmap of Perth: the light blue areas show where flooding is most likely The Council : The council will check the watercours es for any risk of flooding and keep it clear of obstructio ns together with the Environme nt Agency. If there are any blocked drains they will clear them. The council will also assess the need for new water mitigation schemes and flood defences, but it will only build them if the government pays for them. The Home-owners: Maintaining drains and sewers on their property is the responsibility of every home owner. If anyone sees a blocked drain in the street, they should call 01738 625 411, otherwise it could lead to flooding when it rains. People should also look at flood plans before buying a house. If the house is build on a floodplain, they should know about that and realise that flooding may occur! Sources: There are many websites which offer advice and information on flooding. I have used the following websites for this report: www.scotland.gov.uk www.pkc.gov.uk http://www.defra.gov.uk www.environment-agency.gov.uk www.floodforum.org.uk/ The Environment Agency and DEFRA also provide fact sheets online. I have used the following fact sheets: During a flood After a flood Alleviating floods I have also used pictures from Google to illustrate my report.
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