Globally, a significant increase has been reported in extreme weather events such as heat waves, droughts, heavy rainfall, flash floods, urban flooding, coastal flooding, hurricanes, and winter storms. In India also, extreme weather events are occurring at an increasing rate. In 2015, it was Chennai that was devastated by floods caused by heavy rainfall. In 2018, Kerala witnessed nature’s fury when thousands of people were displaced due to floods in 14 districts. Similar extreme weather events have also occurred in other parts of the country and their numbers are rising.
International research studies have found evidence that global warming is a major cause for the increase in extreme weather events. There’s also evidence that human activities are one of the factors responsible for climate change. Extreme weather events cause widespread devastation and it takes a long time for people and communities to recover from their monetary losses and mental trauma. This is why it makes sense to take proactive measures to protect ourselves from the onslaught of extreme weather events.
While world leaders have signed the Paris Agreement to manage climate change, certain measures need to be taken at the community level also. A good way to protect ourselves is to build flood resistant residential apartments that can withstand floods caused by heavy rainfall, cyclones, and tsunamis. Extreme weather events are expected to increase in the coming years, so building a flood-resistant residential apartment can be useful in an urban setting.
For a detailed insight, let’s take a look at 10 important reasons for building a flood-resistant residential apartment.
#1. SAVE LIVES:
A flood resistant residential apartment will be a lifesaver, as residents will be protected from the rising flood waters. Even if the boundary wall is breached, residents can go to the upper floors to take shelter. A flood-resistant building is specially designed to withstand erosion and the pressure of flowing flood waters. This will ensure that the building remains intact and does not develop any cracks or other structural issues.
#2. MINIMIZE PROPERTY LOSS:
A single storey house will be completely inundated in floods and everything that’s kept inside the house will be destroyed. This results in huge financial losses for homeowners. In comparison, a flood-resistant residential apartment will be built on a stilt construction design that will prevent flood waters from entering the homes. Even if the water reaches the first floor or second floor, people can always move their belongings to the upper floors.
#3. COMMUNITY HELP AND SUPPORT:
In an independent house, families might find themselves completely cut off from the rest of the world. However, in case of a flood resistant residential apartment, there will be plenty of people to provide help and support. Residents can share their food, medicines and other supplies with each other. People can also lend their professional expertise, for instance, a doctor can provide medical assistance to any resident if required. Working together as a team and helping and supporting each other can help avoid the stress, anxiety and trauma caused by floods.
#4. A SHELTER FOR THE STRANDED:
A flood resistant residential apartment can be used as a temporary shelter for outside people who may be stranded or those that may have lost their homes in the floods. They could stay in the apartment complex till emergency teams come to rescue them. The same can be applicable for stranded animals such as cats, dogs, etc.
#5. EASIER TO SUPPLY RELIEF MATERIAL:
A multistorey residential building can be easily identified and relief material can be dropped on its rooftop via helicopters. Flood waters may take several days to recede, so, food, medicines and other essential supplies can be provided to people living in a flood resistant residential apartment.
#6. EASIER EVACUATION:
Evacuating people from a flood resistance building will be easier, as the rooftop can be accessed by a helicopter. Residents in need of medical assistance can be evacuated to a hospital or a designated shelter. Women and children can also be evacuated, in case flood waters persist over several days.
#7. QUICK RECOVERY:
Since peoples’ homes in a flood-resistant building will remain protected from the floodwaters, they can recover quickly after the floods. Their belongings will remain safe and there won’t be any financial loss. As soon as the roads and the neighbourhood are cleaned by authorities, residents can be back with their daily routine without worrying about losses or experiencing trauma or distress.
#8. LONG LIFE:
A flood resistant residential apartment is built to last, as it has a sturdier quality of construction. It will ensure that it lasts longer than standard buildings. This will significantly reduce the cost of maintenance over the years. It will also extend the timeline for redevelopment, which is often a complex process for apartment dwellers.
#9. PEACE OF MIND:
During extreme weather events such as floods, we often worry about the safety of our loved ones. If we choose to live in a flood resistant residential apartment, we can have complete peace of mind that our loved ones will not be harmed in any way. A flood resistant residential apartment may cost more than a standard apartment, but it?s a price worth paying to secure yourself and the lives of your loved ones.
#10. FLOOD INSURANCE CLAIMS:
A flood resistant residential apartment will be protected by a flood insurance policy, which will be an added layer of security in case things do not go as planned. Sometimes floods can be extremely devastating and may cause damage to even flood-resistant buildings. In such cases, insurance can help you recover from the associated losses.
Building flood resistant residential apartment complexes can be made mandatory in flood-prone areas such as coastal towns and cities and other low-lying areas. Another option could be that the government provides incentives to builders to construct flood-resistant homes. Homebuyers could also be encouraged to buy their properties in certified flood-resistant buildings. Flood-resistant residential apartment complexes will emerge as lifesavers and they will significantly reduce the monetary losses and mental trauma associated with extreme weather events such as floods.