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A Preview of Future Risks: Fort Lauderdale’s Historic Flooding Points to Vulnerable Areas and Preparedness Measures


Credit: The Conversation

When a powerful storm inundated neighborhoods in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, in April, initial reports show 25 inches of rain Within 24 hours, a few people were ready. Even hurricanes Rarely does this amount of rain fall in one area so quickly. There was little the residents could do to stop the flood waters as they spilled over their yards and into their homes.

Studies show that as global temperatures rise, more people will be at risk of these devastating floods – including in offshore areas that rarely experienced severe flooding in the past.

In many of these communities, the people most at risk of flash flooding are low-wage workers, the elderly and other vulnerable populations who live in low-lying areas and have few resources to protect their property and themselves.

I study the impact of extreme weather on vulnerable communities as a Assistant Professor of Social Work. To limit the harm, communities need to know who is at risk and how they can best prepare.

Heavier rainfall in a warming world

Fort Lauderdale Storm on April 12-13, 2023offered a look at the dangers ahead As temperatures rise.

A warmer atmosphere can hold more moisture, resulting in stronger precipitation. The resulting floods can be devastating. These events are expected to increase in frequency and intensity in many regions as greenhouse gas emissions from human activities The planet continues to heat up.

Recent disasters, including several in 2022 and In 2023 alreadyshowing how flash flood risks extend beyond that Areas traditionally considered at risk.

Find out who is most at risk

To plan for severe weather, it is essential that community leaders and residents know where the risks are highest and who You may not be ready.

Low areas Poorly planned developmentAnd lack of investment In the protective infrastructure and residual effects of Divestment and historical distinction You are often at greater risk. So are low-income communities with limited budgets You can not afford protection measures Such as upgraded dams or storm water systems and damage cannot be recovered quickly.

in the elderly They live in these flood-prone areasThey are even more at risk. Older adults are more likely to have a health need or some form of it inability which could affect their ability to leave quickly during a disaster. They are also more susceptible socially isolatedwhich may mean that they do not hear information in a timely manner, assist in evacuation, or quickly access resources for recovery.

Tenants and the impact of housing insecurity

in A recent study, my colleagues and I looked at how prepared people were for disasters of any kind across the United States—floods, hurricanes, hurricanes, and more—and how housing security played a role. The numbers were realistic.

Overall, we found that 57% of residents, out of 29,070 housing units surveyed across the country, reported that they were not equipped with food, water, emergency funds, and transportation in the event of a disaster. We found that households facing housing insecurity—those that were behind on rent, mortgage, or utilities—were less prepared for disaster than others, even when their occupants had similar incomes and education.

People who struggle to make ends meet often do not have the ability and resources to plan for everyday events, let alone disasters. our research showed that families with children, families headed by women, and families with low incomes were less prepared for disasters than others.

Scientists explain why a rise in temperature can lead to heavy rains and flash floods.

Renting adds additional challenges. in the United States, Low-income families often depend on the rental market. They tend to move frequently, and since they don’t own the property, they often can’t make upgrades for the sake of safety. And owners may not prioritize those risks that seem rare but carry costs.

How to help communities stay safe

The most effective way to address these challenges is through solutions designed for the community.

can include Infrastructure investmentincluding state-funded priorities such as large-scale sanitation systems and flood prevention measures, as well as ensuring people have access to them. Safe and affordable housing. Some communities and federal agencies have them Bought the property That gets swamped and frequently changes zoning rules to keep more people from getting in harm’s way.

Increasing community awareness about climate change and extreme weather risks is also critical, especially among these most vulnerable, like the elderly. If people understood the risks, know how to equip their homes, and know how Plan for emergencies And knowing where to find help, they are more likely to be prepared when disaster strikes.

I think the most successful Efforts are those that bring at-risk communities into planning discussions.

For example, in Columbus, Ohio, the city is working with the Central Ohio Region Agency on Aging, the Center for Age-Friendly Innovation and my team to improve disaster preparedness among older residents. We hope to learn from seniors in affordable housing communities who have experienced severe weather in recent years to help design action plans for communities with special needs. The aim is to ensure that the population is better prepared for future climate and weather emergencies.

Introduction to the conversation

This article has been republished from Conversation Under Creative Commons Licence. Read the The original article.Conversation

the quote: Fort Lauderdale Historic Flooding Was a Sign of Things to Come – A Look at Who’s Most Vulnerable and How to Prepare (2023, April 27) Retrieved April 27, 2023 from https://phys.org/news/2023-04-historic- fort-lauderdale-comea.html

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