Preparation for managing catastrophic flood events


   Dr. Sarunya Thiphom, the head of Environmental Health and Occupational Health Branch in the Faculty of Public Health at Naresuan University provided the following information regarding the preparation for managing catastrophic flood events.

   Flood preparation should involve an established prevention plan for flooding, especially for those who live in areas that flood every year or neighborhoods close to rivers, canals. Individuals in these effected areas have to prepare the necessary items for living during the hardships encured by the flooding such as drinking water, dry food and canned food, medicine, a source of light. In addition, they must evacuated love ones and collect essential family documents, information needed such as telephone numbers for emergency situations, pets and vehicles in order to escape level water.

   Preparation of the flooding: gas and electricity should be turned off, and all holes should be covered, so that water cannot flow into the house. If individuals decide to stay in the house, they should stay in a strong building that is higher than the previously flooded water level. Residence should be aware and be very cautious of the possibility of poisonous animals such as snakes, centipedes, scorpions that will seek refuge in their homes in order to escape the raising water levels. Adults should monitor young children closely, not allowing them to go swimming during this period because the water level is more turbulent than usual, and the risk of drowning is high. For those people who live near a mountain, they should move to higher grounds or a safe place that is advised by authorities by listening to local radio, television, or portable radios.

   Individuals should have in place a way to manage the after effects of what the event will have on both the physical and mental state of ones family and self. Communities, families, and individuals must prepare themselves for the anxiety created as a result of stress of going through a timorous period in their life, which will involve the discovery of the destruction, inspection of the damages, cleaning and collection of personal belongings, and the acceptance of loss of life and property.

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