I am flooded. Again. What a mess!
And it happens again and again. Each flood comes with this incredible mess. Incredible and costly mess!
But what can I do?
That is not TRUE.
“ Do not listen to other people”.
While it is true that we can not control flood, there is something that we can do — that is to protect ourselves. Most people simply just do not know how. I will tell you how it works, and how it can be done.
But first let us have a look at what can really help you when heavy rain comes.
1. Nobody knows your place better than you do. It is where you live, and it is where you work.
How was your place affected the last time when a heavy rainfall came? Do you still remember? How long did it take until you were flooded?
Most of the time the rainfall is predictable.
But never expect that to be the same as the last time.
“ Expect for the flooding to become worse.
That means that you will be affected worse than the last time. Are you prepared for that?
What is the expected water level? How many centimeters or inches did the water level increase last time? Add a reasonable height and you get at least an idea of how high the water level will increase next time. For example: If the last water level was 1.50m, add 30%. The expected water level next time will be at 1.95m. Make it 2m and you should have a realistic and safe estimate.
2. What are the worst impacts of a flood disaster?
People want to keep their houses dry, protected against water and mud.
Factory owners want to secure their factories and warehouses against water and mud.
Shop owners want to secure their shops, offices, hotels against water and mud.
The Government want to secure its buildings; its offices, the universities, schools, hospitals, and even the fire department.
Everyone wants to be protected — to be real safe and dry in times of flood.
“And everyone wants to keep their loved ones, employees, workers, clients safe and secured.
Ultimately, a safe building is the one that can also protect its residents.
The question now is: How can it be achieved? As I have said earlier that there are existing solutions “on the market”. That does not mean it is expensive.
If you want to travel from “A” to “B” you can do this the expensive way by taking a private car. But do not forget to buy the car first and fill it up with gasoline before you start your journey.
Another way is, you can take a bicycle which is by all means cheaper. Buy the bike first, pump up the tires and pedal away using your muscle power.
Lastly, you can simply walk! Use your feet. It is the cheapest way to get to any destination. You would need more shoes from time to time though.
Did you reach your destination point within the allotted travel time and more importantly, did you get there when you need to be there?
Therefore, I conclude: You will need money in every single move for whatever choice you make: whether you take the car, the bicycle, or even if you just choose to walk. And sometimes you do not get what you were expecting. Sometimes you arrive earlier – much faster when you use the car, than when you just walk.
…but then sometimes, it can be the other way around, when you drive via EDSA in Manila on a working day 🙂
“ Everything has its price and its value.
In this case, value is the protection of your house, your hotel, your factory, your school – your building!
3. There is an existing Flood protection solution!
Do you sometimes dream, from time to time, of how nice it would be if there were no flood anymore? The time when your building will not be affected by flood again and again?
“ There will be no more big mess again inside your place.
What a wonderful dream!
You may think now that this flood control solution is only for the rich.
Yes, of course, because in a way it is easier to do something when you have money . But you can also do something even when you are not that rich.
What is it?
- You can be aware.
- You can be attentive.
- You can take initiative.
to 1.: You can be aware.
But step by step.
“Awareness” means not only being conscious of what’s happening around you, but more importantly, “Awareness” means that you do something– you have to take action. You can for instances meet with your neighbors and discuss the situation. Your neighbors are most likely to be in the same situation as you are. Talk about your common experiences and plan a course of action – think of what you can do, as a community to protect yourselves against flooding.
“You are aware now.
Great! That is the first step. Congratulations.
to 2.:You can be attentive.
You can be alert and you can observe what the local government is doing. You can observe what the residents are doing.
You can observe what is in the news; on tv, over the radio, and on the newspapers. And finally you can observe the latest news over the internet.
Today you can find EVERYTHING on the internet. Be honest to yourself: How much time do you spend on Facebook, and other forms of social media every day? How much time do you spend on sending messages and sharing photos and funny videos?
“And how much time do you spend in getting information on how you can avoid being flooded?
to 3.: You can take the initiative.
I am sure you have heard comments from other people that you cannot do anything to prevent flooding, and that the damage caused by it can be very devastating, and very expensive?
I have to say that is not absolutely true.
I can tell you, I have good news for you!
If your neighbors or your barangay chairman (here in the Philippines), or your Mayor or your Governor or your Congressman or your Senator are not doing anything, it does not follow that you don’t do anything also.
In Germany it took more than 10 years before the people realized that there is a good solution against flooding. This solution was only made available in 1990.
So, what did the people do before that?
I tell you what they did: While they were changing their minds. They were changing their ideas. They shared ideas among themselves. And all those times they got flooded, they got flooded, and they got flooded. Over and over, again and again.
Until one day, they decided that they’ve had enough flood!
“Don’t wait for 10 years. The Germans already did that for you!”
What does it mean, “the Germans did it already for you?” It means that t based on their collective experience, flood control solutions were developed and improved through time, its prices have been made affordable to a wider range of market, everything became easier. And in the end the buildings have become more and more protected against flood.
You just have to take benefit of it. Just learn from what they do, copy them, if you have to. They allow it. You dont have to “reinvent the wheel.” Be smart and use the existing flood control solutions.
4. Which flood protection solution is the right one for you?
I can give you an overview about existing technical flood control solutions. But I think you would become lazy when I do so. It would be better for you if you do the first step on your own. Otherwise it will not really help you.
“ Do the first step on your own.
But before you start searching it can help that you read again what I wrote above. And then try to answer carefully the questions I will ask you. Start discussing. That is awareness. That is the first step. You can not move to the second step without completing the initial one.
My question to you is:
“What will you do NOW?
I know what I should do now.
3 thoughts on “The truth about Flood Control”
Do you have training on flood modeling? I am from flood control, dpwh.
Thank you Mr. Jesse for your interest with our trainings.
We, in fact, have this special training every month in our facility at Clark Freeport Zone, and we highly encourage you to come with your team from the DPWH to participate in this 1-day course.
You will get a better understanding of basic questions about any flood situation, and information that will help you prepare future calamities.
Kindly send us your details at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can discuss further on how we can address your concern.
Thank you again and keep safe!
You may send invitation to
Dir. PATRICK B. GATAN, CESO III
UPMO-Flood Control Management Cluster
2nd St., Port Area, Manila