FLOOD - A flood is an abnormal progressive rise in the water level of streams or rivers which may result in overflowing. Floods in the Caribbean can often be caused by heavy rainfall, dam or levee failures, tsunamis, storm surges or burst water mains.
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After a Flood

This can be a difficult time for people, particularly if the effects of the flood have been devastating. There is the fear and worry caused by experiencing the disaster; and, when the flood has passed, there are also additional stresses caused by cleaning your surroundings and repairing the damage caused. 

Here are a few tips to help you begin the recovery process.

  • Only use devices/appliances after they have been dried, cleaned, checked for damage and repaired.
  • Report downed utility lines (electricity, water, gas, telephone) to the appropriate authorities.
  • Never switch on the main if the building has been under water, wait for professional assistance.
  • Look out for electrical/fire hazards such as broken electrical wires.
  • Chemicals and flammable substances may have spilled during the flood. Avoid using lanterns and torches, use flashlights instead.
  • Boil water before using. Wash cans thoroughly before opening. Dispose of damaged canned foods as they may have been contaminated.
  • If you are not assisting with search and rescue, keep away from disaster areas as your presence may hamper rescue efforts.
  • Do a damage assessment.
  • If you are a visitor, you should report your location and condition to the relevant authorities.

Recovering from any disaster can be challenging. Even after safety, comfort and physical wellbeing are regained, some people continue to struggle with restoring their emotional or mental stability. Talk to someone if you have experienced a traumatic event, or get advice if you remain stressed long after situations have returned to normal. Feel free to contact professional counsellors, faith based organizations or community programmes for support.

Below are some signs of disaster related stress.

  • Trouble sleeping.
  • Difficulty maintaining balance of life.
  • Low threshold of frustration.
  • Depression, sadness, feelings of hopelessness, mood-swings.
  • Increased use of drugs/alcohol.
  • Short attention span and/or difficulty concentrating.
  • Poor work performance.
  • Headaches/stomach problems.



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12 inches of water can cause you to lose control of your vehicle.
New land development can increase flood risk, especially if the construction changes natural runoff paths.
In cases of severe flooding, water can take weeks to subside.
Large volumes of water can cause roadbeds to collapse.
Deforestation can cause flooding.
Flooding is the most common natural hazard.
Flash-flooding can occur within minutes.
Dams and levees are built to prevent flooding.
Flooding can cause millions of dollars in damage.
6 inches of moving water can sweep you off your feet.
Oil, and other chemicals carried in floodwaters can ruin crops and be hazardous to your health
When soil gets saturated with water, landslides may occur
More people die from drowning in fresh water floods during a hurricane or storm, than from any other cause.