The Risks of Living in a Flood Zone
One flood can wipe out tens of thousands of dollars of your personal property and damage your home beyond repair. When you look for a home to purchase, a major consideration of whether you buy it will be its location. A home situated in a flood zone can mean higher home insurance premiums and a greater risk of flood damage. Plan your home purchase carefully to ensure that you do not buy a home that can end up costing you almost as much in flood damage costs as it did to initially purchase.
Floods in Australia
Emergency Management Australia notes that flooding along rivers after a heavy rain is the most common form of flooding in the country in its “Floods: Warnings, Preparedness and Safety” brochure. Urban areas are also very prone to flooding from an overflow of drainage systems. This can be a particular problem in densely populated cities. Low areas near the coast are often flooded by storm surges from tropical cyclones. Inland rivers may have floods that last for weeks or even months at a time. This can lead to damage not only to homes and businesses, but also result in loss of drops, livestock, roads and rail lines.
Mountain head water areas of large rivers and rivers that drain to the coast often see quick onset flooding. This type of flooding does not allow much time to prepare for evacuation and preventive action to save property. Flash floods occur when short, heavy rain storms occur. These types of floods happen all over Australia, and they are the most dangerous. People lose their lives when they go into flood waters in vehicles or on foot. Flash floods are particularly upsetting in urban areas where drainage systems cannot keep up with the amount of water. Flash floods also happen in rural places with terrain prone to flash floods and steep streams.
Loss of Life
One of the most devastating risks of living in flood zones is loss of life. People can easily be swept away by strong flood currents as rivers overflow their banks. Entire communities can lose many people, which makes the physical damage from storms, breakage of dams and overflowing rivers appear as nothing.
Water levels rise quickly when floods occur. You may not have time to move furniture or even smaller personal belongings to higher ground when a flood occurs. Appliances, furniture, carpeting, walls, electrical and plumbing systems call all be wiped out in a few minutes of flooding. Pictures, important documents, electronics, computers, clothing and kitchen items are also often lost in floods. The items that recall memories and family are irreplaceable. Floods can destroy them all.