Pune has been flooding like never before, one of the major reasons is haphazard concretization happening around without the cognizance of the existing water channels and the network. Thus leaving no place but the roads and our apartments/societies for the rainwater to venture and find its pathway.
|Meetup in Kimaya|
Nevertheless, a lot has been said on this, leaving us with the ONLY option as to WHAT we are supposed to do in such a situation in order to save ourselves???
As a matter of concern, we at Samuchit Enviro Tech, LAYA and INECC conducted our monthly session titled #ChallengingThanos-Submerging Cities for brainstorming on ACTIONS that we as individuals should undertake as part of the basic disaster preparedness or measures in such situations.
We conducted the session in an open cafe Kimaya in Kothrud, though it was noisy and a bit uncomfortable to brainstorm, I feel we managed it quite well. We conducted our Mentimeter (click here for mentimeter result) session to collate a list of BASIC measures we can take as individuals during floods from a bunch of 13 people. Below is the list for your reference. Note that you too can also add to the list either as a comment or message.
1. First things first, be alert. If possible be home or wherever you are, avoid any travel if the weather forecast alerts heavy rainfall. We have to start trusting our forecasting systems like IMD, local news, even google weather app is useful to get an idea on the weather. Call your near and dear ones and make them aware and tell them to stay where they are if they are rushing to come home.
2. Nowadays we all prefer to have cashless transactions, however having some cash is a must during difficult times at home as well as in person. In case of floods especially, the first thing that gets hampered is electricity and then online network gets jammed. in such times your mobiles may also not work, so its crucial to have some cash and food handy and follow the first point.
3. In order to use our smart phones ''smartly'', ensure phone battery is charged and phones are updated with google maps and other related social media apps. We all use Whats app and Facebook these apps can be used efficiently to inform each other about current conditions around you. These are one of the best handy mode of communication available with all of us. Important point to be noted, a lot of fake/old news also gets circulated sometimes, so instead of panicking or blindly forwarding such posts always ask for authentication of such news.
4. In case if you are caught in any critical situation, make sure you save yourself first, only if you are fine you can help others. So securing yourself should be the priority.
Following is a list of precautions to be taken in order to cope with the ill effects of urbanization.
1. While buying a house, check if its not near or over a river or a canal or a stream. RiverView homes may not be so appealing if the river drains into your homes. Don't fall for such real estate marketing gimmicks. The rivers/riverbeds, canals and streams are the natural drainage systems, these need to be free from obstructions in any case. Any kind of construction of concreting ON or NEAR such areas is ultimately going to affect the person who resides near these areas.
2. Our societies should have disaster prepardness plan and appropriate equipment, emergency/first aid kit, emergency contact numbers and should conduct mock drills on regular intervals. We as a family and individual should be aware of these activities and if these are not present we need to ask for them and get it.
3. Keeping oneself FIT is a crucial factor often neglected due to time constraint. Regular exercising keeps one active and alert during crisis. Make sure you do something to keep yourself fit. Swimming is a life saving skill now, we need to be equipped with it.
4. Stock at least 7 days of food and cash in your homes at any time. You never know when you might need it.
5. Following sustainable practices like growing your own food or having a backyard vegetable garden, harvesting rainwater, using household biogas or steam cookers, using renewable source of energy like solar heating and lighting systems turns out to be not only sustainable but are best rescue options when there's no electricity and food.
Climate Change is happening and is real believe it or not. Haphazard urbanization is accelerating its impacts and its you, me and our families who are vulnerable to these impacts. Its high time we start taking action for our survival. Its time we start asking for a climate adaptive, resilient and mitigation focused urban planning.
Any comments are welcome!!!
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