By Associate Professor Dr Siti Noor Fazelah Mohd Noor
Many individuals were harmed by the recent flood in various states, which is particularly unfortunate given the proximity of Ramadan and Eid. There should be techniques to control the water to lessen the flood's impact and increase the likelihood of survival, despite the fact that many people would call this a natural tragedy.
More attention should be paid to communication in this scenario as part of the effort to reduce the disaster's impact and prevent flooding. The results of failing to take preventative precautions against flooding can be catastrophic if there is a lack of good communication, especially during a crisis.
Some of the potential risks include:
Death toll: Floods are dangerous. It's important to take precautions, so people have time to leave or be ready. There is a risk of loss of life, especially in locations prone to flash floods. There can be a lot of damage to roads, bridges, buildings, and utilities during floods. Repairs can be costly and inconvenient without mitigation strategies, which has a negative impact on both the economy and daily life.
If an area's economy is dependent on agriculture, tourism, or other industries that are easily harmed by water, then a flood can have a devastating effect on the local economy. Crops, businesses, and property can all be ruined by floods, which can lead to financial losses, decreased productivity, and higher repair expenses.
Floods can produce a variety of problems for the environment, including erosion, sedimentation, and water supply contamination. The loss of biodiversity and the degradation of habitats are just two examples of the long-term repercussions that may be felt by the environment in the absence of mitigation efforts.
The psychological toll of a flood can be severe, especially for people who lose homes, possessions, or jobs as a result of the disaster. The emotional toll on individuals and communities can be substantial and long-lasting if preventative steps are not taken.
In contrast, effective crisis communication can aid in informing the public about floods and their effects, such as how to recognise warning signals and what to do in the event of a flood.
For flood mitigation efforts to be successful, clear and consistent communication amongst all parties involved is essential. Some of the many justifications for the importance of talking to one another are as follows:
The role of communication
Communication has an important role in informing the public of the dangers and risks posed by floods. One way to do this is to warn people about floods and the steps they may take to protect themselves and their property.
Prediction: Early warning of a flood depends on effective communication. It may involve sending out warnings and advisories, organising evacuations, and highlighting secure locations.
Coordinating the actions of the many parties involved in flood prevention requires open lines of communication between them. First responders, state and federal authorities, and neighbourhoods all play a part.
Communication helps the public learn about the steps they can take to protect themselves from floods or mitigate its effects. This involves disseminating data on how to make buildings flood-proof and what to do in the event of a flood.
Repairing the damage from a flood requires a coordinated effort, and one of the most important aspects of this is maintaining open lines of communication. This involves guiding people through the processes of acquiring insurance and disaster relief, as well as facilitating the acquisition of basic necessities like food, shelter, and medical treatment.
In conclusion, effective communication especially from the authorities plays a crucial role in flood mitigation through its contributions to awareness, early warning, coordination, education of the public, and aid in the recovery process. Communicating effectively during a flood can save lives, limit property damage, and aid in the speedy recovery of affected communities.
Associate Professor Dr Siti Noor Fazelah Mohd Noor is Head, Centre for Communication Science Research, at Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia (UTHM).