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Muskingum County, Ohio has recently experienced floods caused by ice jams along the course of River Muskingum. Apparently, the huge ice chunks blocked the channel of the river restricting water free flow of water in the river. The County's Emergency Management Agency kept a close eye on the floods hoping that things could change. The most affected area was Dresden and other regions near the river channel (Ross, 2018).
Flooding can be a natural or man-made disaster depending on the cause behind it. Muskingum County, Ohio flooding was a natural a disaster taking into account the fact that it was caused by huge ice chunks which occur naturally (Sneed, 2018). Other floods that occur naturally are caused by a heavy downpour, tsunamis in coastal regions and melting of icebergs that causes the water level to surge and overflow inland and hurricanes. However, other types of floods can be caused by human activities. For instance, floods can occur because of poor drainage systems, the collapse of dam barriers and deforestation (Rossi et al. 2012).
Floods have several characteristics which include;
Floods do not occur out the blues, various factors trigger flooding. As discussed earlier, these factors could be natural or man-made. The natural triggers of floods include torrential rains, hurricanes, and tsunamis, melting of snow and ice, and higher water table that reduces permeability.
Floods do not just occur at any place. Some regions of the world are prone to flooding than others. These regions include those that are close to bodies of water like rivers, regions where other natural disasters like tsunamis and hurricanes are common and those with poor drainage systems.
Duration of flood
Floods are not permanent events. Floods normally last for certain duration then disappear. Sometimes it is difficult to forecast when floods will hit. However, they tend to be more common during the rainy seasons.
Frequency of occurrence
Sometimes floods can occur once in a year or multiple time over the course of the year. However, in other instances, floods can take several years to occur.
Magnitude and intensity
Magnitude in regards to floods, is the amount energy released over the duration of the flooding. Flood with high magnitude are more intense and tend to cause more damage to property and loss of life.
Floods normally leave a trail of destruction in their wake. Floods can damage power grids and cause other disasters like fire. These are called secondary or derived events.
Stages of Disaster Management
Management of disasters falls into four main stages. The four stages of disaster management were designed by the National Governors Association to assist disaster managers effectively respond to disasters like flooding. These phases include;
These are steps taken to reduce vulnerability to disasters. For the case of flooding, these could include putting in place proper drainage systems, planting more trees absorb excess water and reduce runoff and proper land use management (Smith, 2013).
It involves understanding how a natural event might affect the society and put in place measures to ensure that the community is ready. This can include creating awareness, training, gathering enough supplies like medicine, food and clothing and general logistical readiness (Smith, 2013).
Dealing with the risks presented by the disaster. This includes saving lives, distributing supplies, treating the injured, clean up, and assessment of damage.
This is the final stage of disaster response and management. It involves returning the affected community into normalcy. Immediately after an extreme natural event, disaster managers help the community attain some form socioeconomic and environmental stability.
Severe disasters could wreck massive damage and destroy the foundation of communities. If the community is not prepared, it could take years to recover. The recovery could also involve investment of millions of dollars. Recovery from disasters normally falls into short term and long terms stages. Short term disaster recovery takes several months to about a year. It involves ensuring that the community has access to essential services and goods like water, food, power, and medical attention. For long term recovery it could take like five to years and involves strategic plans like change in land use management.
Ross, R. (2018). Muskingum County EMA Director provides update on river flooding. Whiz News. Retrieved Feb. 14, 2018, from https://www.whiznews.com/2018/01/muskingum- county-ema-director-provides-update-river-flooding/
Rossi, G., Harmanciogammalu, N. B., & Yevjevich, V. (Eds.). (2012). Coping with floods (Vol. 257). Springer Science & Business Media. Retrieved Feb. 14, 2018, from https://books.google.co.ke/books?hl=en&lr=&id=Ii7pCAAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PR11& dq=characteristics+of+floods&ots=X1PhB0giN9&sig=nivb87TPNA9xCjfIKcdSxcc- q_g&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=characteristics%20of%20floods&f=false
Smith, K. (2013). Environmental hazards: assessing risk and reducing disaster. Routledge. Retrieved Feb. 14, 2018, from https://books.google.co.ke/books?hl=en&lr=&id=hOTfCgAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PP1&d q=flooding+as+a+disaster&ots=CTSNvtWcaX&sig=H63zOz-bpP- 5v9l4NodDSVBdZjA&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=flooding%20as%20a%20disaster&f= false
Sneed, R. (2018). Large ice jams could lead to flooding in Muskingum County. NBC. Retrieved Feb. 14, 2018, from http://nbc4i.com/2018/01/15/large-ice-jams-could-lead-to-flooding- in-muskingum-county/
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