Mitigation measures that have been implemented to address floods
Floods are natural disasters. Unlike other natural disasters such as earth quake, floods can be prevented. Factors such as runoffs cause floods. In rural areas, runoffs usually exceed the drainage capacity along the river channels hence causing floods. In urban areas, the outburst and damage caused by storms on the drainage systems cause floods. In addition, the rise of water in the sea level causes floods. In most cases, tsunamis are an example of possible floods resulting from sea storms. Finally, the collapse of water supply system and the failure of the sanitary carriage channels cause floods.
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The mitigation measures for floods include the following; “control over rivers, establishing policies and legislation on the use of land such as terracing and assess to flood-prone areas” (Smith and Ward 206).
Control over the rivers involves “assessing the flow and the height of the water” (Smith and Ward 206). In case the controls are not appropriate, some alterations must be done. Some of the alterations involve the construction of rivers and reservoirs on rivers. These will be responsible for water storage, hence the reduction on flood threats. Construction of floodwalls is another essential element for “confining water from flowing into unwanted areas” (Smith and Ward 206).
This reduces the amount of damage caused by floods. Development of watersheds is critical to facilitating absorption of water by soil during heavy rain falls. This involves practices such as crop rotation, reforestation, terracing and contour-strip farming.
On the other hand, policies and legislation governing the use of land play a great role in preventing people from residing in flood plains. This will be a prevention measure for people living in flood-prone areas (Bankoff and George 16). This involves legislation in land zoning to control development areas, encroachment lines, building codes and subdivision policies.
Additional measure that has not been implemented, but would mitigate against floods
Creating awareness among the public on floods is one important measure that has not been done effectively. It is important to assure the public of their safety in flood prone areas. If the public awareness initiative is not conducted, the public may feel restricted against their freedom to in flood-prone areas. The process of creating awareness should be supported by “government legislation, public information and flood educational programs” (Wisner and Blaikie 21). This will enable the public to “understand issues associated with floods” (Wisner and Blaike 21) and the dangers of the same.
The programs should aim at making the residents understand the essence of getting “involved in practices that prevent or control floods” (Wisner and Blaike 24). An example of such a practice includes farming. The impact of floods and flood occurrences can be dealt through flood awareness programs. This entails the inclusion of the “flood insurance and other warning systems that reduce the risk of floods” (Bankoff and George 78).
Through awareness programs, it will be possible to plan and establish land zoning where appropriate. In order to reduce the risks of floods damage, people should not reside in flood plains. However, with the need to have land for farming, some people may not understand flood dangers.
Evaluation of the additional mitigation strategy using the FEMA criteria
According to www.fema.gov, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is meant to support citizens. This is by ensuring a fast response towards protecting citizens against disasters is given priority. FEMA uses the following criteria in prioritizing its disaster mitigation strategies; reducing or complete elimination of long terms risks and ensure people are safe.
The above FEMA criterion protects people and properties from natural disasters. This will entail enactment of long lasting policies and regulations governing the use and zoning of lands in the country. In addition, FEMA has mechanisms to educate citizens on how to reduce flood occurrence and damages.
“FEMA Mitigation and Insurance Strategic Plan 2012-2014”. www.fema.gov. Federal Emergency Management Agency. 2012. Web.
Bankoff, Greg and George, Frerks. Mapping vulnerability: Disasters, development and people. California: California University Press, 2003. Print.
Smith, Keith and Ward, Roy. Floods: Physical processes and human impacts. New Jersey: Wiley, 1998. Print.
Wisner, Benjamin and Blaikie, Piers. At risk – natural hazards, people’s vulnerability and disasters. Wiltshire: Routledge, 2004. Print.