Human Vulnerability To Flooding07 August 2012
During a flood the most vulnerable groups of people are often disadvantaged to the greatest extent. These groups are made up of the elderly and infirm, the poor, children and reportedly women as well. Negative effects can be long lasting and often intangible.
Flooding : Human Vulnerability
It is thought that an elderly person loosing some cherished family memorabilia can have a greater impact on society than the effects of so-called "tangible" flood damage. This can often lead to both the public and the government underestimating the actual impact of flooding, not just in terms of physical damage and harm, but on social cohesion and enduring mental distress.
There are a number of economic barriers preventing safe housing being provided universally. The idea that relationships within a household or a wider community can lead to the creation of an adverse social environment where the populace are at greater risk in the event of large scale disasters. This is made more pronounced by the simple fact that wealthier households / communities are more able to take steps to avoid some risks of flooding. Studies carried out in 2007 showed that "moving to a location at low risk of flooding", was one of the highest priorities for people wanting to bring up a family.
Increase in value
This trend shows that areas beyond the projected range of a flood plain are more likely to see a relative increase in value. Though areas with inadequate drainage may also be at risk from surface water flash-flooding, they are unlikely to show up on the present flood mapping system so are only likely to suffer after flooding has revealed the drainage issues.
It is thought that in England alone, 18.2% of the population are affected by a limiting illness or a disability and 7.6% of the populace are over the age of 75. As the population continues to age, with more people living longer and alone, the risk becomes more pronounced. By 2031, the proportion of those aged 65+ is expected to rise from 16% (in 2004) to 23%. The 3.5 million people who fit into those categories in 2004 were living on their own. New steps are being taken to grade the most at-risk areas using a "people-vulnerability score" in order to illuminate the vulnerable groups.
It is expected that those living in areas with the greatest flood risk will find it increasingly difficult to obtain insurance, and (subsequently) will find it harder to secure mortgages. Because of this, it is expected that property prices in given areas will decrease as it becomes harder for people to buy/sell. This in turn is likely to lead to property developers buying up land at lower prices and using it to develop social housing, old-peoples' homes and schools, thus placing the more at-risk groups directly in harms way.
If you live in an area at risk of flooding, you are likely to already realise how hard it can be to find flood house insurance. You can still find a competitive online quote for flooding insurance through a specialist non-standard insurer. Flood risk insurance can be found online with a competitive quote from HomeProtect, who provide house flood insurance to those who need it most.
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