Our thoughts are with our friends and neighbours in Clonakilty as well as those in Cork who have suffered the same experience as we did in November 2009.
Emotions such as anger, frustration and worry will be all too familiar with those who have experienced loss/damage due to flooding. We are all too aware that community spirit will pull people through the hard times.
For those affected, please consider the following (based on our own local experience):
- Ask for help if you need it. That’s what friends / families and the community is for.
- Allow the specialists to help you make decisions. (Gardai / Civil defence etc)
- You may need to take photos of damaged stock / belongings for insurance claims.
- Don’t be afraid to delegate.
- Keep an eye out for people living alone / the elderly.
- Talk about any worries.
- Check with an electrician before you turn items back on.
- Wash down affected walls / floors with strong disinfectants. (Flood water may be unclean)
I look forward to hear what the politicians will say when they do their local walkabout. Take note of the language that will be used …. there will be a lot of ‘we should’ / ‘we must’ rather than ‘I promise’ / ‘It will be done’. Get used to the time factor also ….. this will be frustrating. There is no quick solution to flood barriers etc. (We know that all too well …. at least it is now being done) I assume the politicians will start to make their presence felt in the next 24 hours.
The local politicians need to put pressure on the insurance companies to make quick settlements.
A note of caution … if there is the possibility that sewerage may have been part of the flood water, I hope the council / corporation will spray disinfectants around any polluted area when possible.
Locally, Bandon must also learn from Wednesday night. While there is a Cork County Emergency Plan …. our local plan among the local businesses and householders has, to the best of my opinion, yet to be finalised.
I wrote a letter c.2 years ago to various local organisations regarding the need for a formal Bandon Town Flood Emergency Plan and I didn’t receive so much as one acknowledgement. (I won’t name them but I was surprised.)
For those interested, consider having a read of the following documents:
These were posted on this website c.2 years ago and are now more relevant than ever.
We need an agreed, cohesive plan that can be circulated to all locals informing them of what to do, and possibly more importantly, what not to do in case of a flooding emergency.
The answers to the following questions need to formally agreed and publicised:
- Who decides if a there is a flooding emergency?
- How can the public be notified? (Alarm from the Fire Station?)
- Are sandbags and sand made available locally?
- What can the public expect the various services to do?
- How can the public help the Gardai / Fire Brigade / Ambulance service /Council / ESB etc?
- What should people NOT do?
- What is the 24 hour emergency flood alert number?
These are just the proverbial ‘tip of the iceberg’ …. there are a lot more questions to be asked.
Post flood – what do people do then? Who can help? How can this be best organised?
We have learned a lot from NOV 2009. A lot has been done locally yet we have a lot more left to do. If you have any thoughts on the above … please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
On a final note … our thoughts and prayers are with those who have been affected.