Typically, there are more than 70 water damage incidents monthly in a population of 100,000 people. That means that there are over 1,400 water damage incidents per month in a metro area the size of Houston. Even though there is a minimal chance that you may experience a water damage incidence in Texas in the next five years, there there is a very good chance that you won’t be ready for it. The water damage may be very devastating, especially if you do not know what to do in this situation.
First, remain calm. Be sure to turn off the breaker to the wet areas of the building before entering hose areas, or unplugging and moving anything electrical. Only then should you move any items on the floor to dry areas. If the source of the water is a broken or leaking pipe, turn off the water to building, or to that area.
Second, call a professional in Texas who has the experience to know how to handle these situations. Then the professional will know how to take care of your problem. They can immediately being the drying process, and most importantly, take control of the situation and put your mind at ease. They will monitor the drying process daily, and keep your insurance company informed.
Third, don’t wait. Most insurance policies require the insured to take actions to mitigate further damage. Experts agree that the first 48 hours are critical in preventing the growth of mold and other microbes that can lean to can unhealthy environment and the need for more extensive structural repairs. That’s why it is important to have professionals on site as soon as possible to remove all excess water and set up the property equipment to produce large amounts of dry air and begin the drying process immediately.
Challenges in the Mitigation Process
Mitigation can best be abridged as endowing the resources necessary to diminish the impacts of events of disastrous proportions. These risk reductions embrace all the necessary measures relating to reducing the risks for both the people as well as preserving the properties involved. Mitigation looks at the long term resolution rather then the quick and immediate responses geared towards hazard events.
You would characteristically find mitigating principles being employed in the recovery phase of emergency management. These situations provide the best opportunities to develop strategies within the scope of mitigation.
If I had to select three challenges which any community leader would have to contend with in selecting their mitigation options my first choose would have to hinge upon the financial aspects of funding. Funding in any form is a difficult venture with a down facing economy as we presently have. These funding techniques would actively center upon special tax assessments or the floating of a special series of bonds intended to finance mitigation efforts.
As stated in the text, both Napa California and Tulsa Oklahoma were forced to increase taxes in order to pay for flood mitigation measures. Few citizens were affected by the increase and the community as a whole benefited by the major impact of reduced economic losses resulted from flooding. Tax increases may have worked in those cities while the passage of a series of bonds provided Berkeley California with the necessary funds for retrofitting the cities public buildings, the schools and some private residences.
I feel this would be one of the most difficult barriers that would need to be undertaken. No one likes to pay more in taxes then they feel they should so the leaders task would be compounded by making the taxpayer accept the decisions for higher taxes. Not an easy task but it can and has been done in the past.
The next choice is actually the most important one of all - identifying the specific hazards associated with the area in question. This is the vital element in any mitigation plan that is created. Before a solution can be devised the community must realize and address their immediate hazards. To assist with this problem our government has established all embracing programs which outline various hazards and the available resources for the involved communities.
The last option I would opt for would be insurance. Although not all people accept insurance as a form of mitigation there are exceptions. An excellent sample of this would be the National Flood Insurance Program or the NFIP. When properly managed and designed this program is often considered one of the most successful of the mitigation options at our disposal.
Initially the NFIP was established to response to the excessive damage resulting from hurricanes and flooding. Its goal was to minimize the high costs associated with dealing in the aftermath of the flood disasters. Flood insurance had not previously been available to those in the high risk areas and as a result the program has eliminated a considerable sum of human misery resulting from uncontrolled hazards. The low income American's with risks can now received subsidized flood insurance compliments of the federal government in order to maintain reasonable costs.
Even with such useful and valuable tools as listed above not all mitigation proceeds smoothly. Many different factors come into play here such as the communities denial of the risks involved, political instability, the associated costs and the general lack of funds needed for a successful program. Once the community recognizes and commits themselves to the program, positive actions are then required.
By Joseph Parish
Copyright @2010 Joseph Parish
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