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Author: urban-nature

Flood Safety For People With Disabilities

  to the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) data, there are 54 million Americans with special needs for whom a flood can be especially dangerous Because emergencies and disasters strike quickly without warning, members of our communities with physical or cognitive disabilities are most at risk. It’s important that caregivers and loved ones keep the proper emergency preparedness resources and stay attentive to local disaster forecasts and notifications. Research Ahead of Time There are three stages of notice issued by weather services to warn communities as conditions indicate an increased likelihood of flooding. Flood advisory Flood watch Flood warning However, flash floods involve large amounts of water moving rapidly over land, and can occur with considerably less time for preparation. Family and caregivers for disabled individuals are encouraged to check with county geologists (or their city planning department) to find out if their home is located in an area prone to flash flooding or landslides. Prepare an Emergency Kit In the event of a flood, the stress alone can worsen many medical conditions. It’s important that access to medication and other essential items are not compromised at any time during an emergency. Prescription medication First aid kit A pen that is appropriate for particular disability Battery-powered flashlight Battery-powered radio Forms of identification A practical amount of cash in smaller bills Spare house and car keys Consider packing a...

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House Floods and Furnace Damage

The Department of Environmental Protection, Pennsylvania, advises that all heating and cooling systems, including furnaces, be replaced after a flooding. “Corrosion begins inside the valves and controls, and damage may not be readily visible, even if the outside of the device is clean and dry,” they say, and warn that, at best, damage can lead to reduced efficiency. In a worst-case scenario, it can cause an explosion. These risks are not worth taking a chance. Investing in a costlier new furnace may be an expense initially, but in the long run saves more than just money. Yet, how will you know if it’s time for a replacement? Here are a few pointers. When Your Furnace is Getting Old Check the furnace label or consult with the manufacturer to determine when the furnace was manufactured and be sure to have your unit’s model number at hand. Furnaces usually have a life expectancy of 15 to 20 years. So, if your furnace is over two thirds of its expected life span and requires multiple repairs, it may be time to purchase a new one. When Repairs and Maintenance Become Expensive Properly maintaining a furnace, such as replacing parts per manufacturer instruction, is necessary to keep it in good condition. Many furnace filters also ensure good quality air in your house, so regularly replacing them is of paramount importance to your health....

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Cleaning Your Home After A Flood

After you have removed the contents from the home and open up the walls, you’ll see areas of mold, typically. There’ll be other contaminants from flood waters. You want to use water initially to get off as much of that after the water first comes in. You’ll physically remove it with water. Then, after that, you can use a water detergent solution. You want to read the label on that product to make sure you have the right amount. The detergent products will be more effective if you do that initial washing with the water and then come back later with a detergent-type solution. Consider using a two-bucket type system. You can use any number of different brushes. Use the solution in one bucket, a clean solution, and then a rinse bucket in the other. That is a more efficient way of cleaning. You can use pressure washing during the process, but using a high-pressure washing system sometimes can cause more damage than good. So, you want to be aware of using not too high of a pressure of water. Then, lastly, you could consider using a bleach-type solution to sanitize, but in most cases, removing the mold is the important aspect of it. It’s not just enough to kill the mold. You have to physically remove the mold, and that’s your main focus when you’re trying to get...

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What is Highland Bayou Quest

Highland Bayou Quest is a citizen awareness process that inquires about the unique aspects of the bayou that are important to us all. It starts with questions, from all of us, about Highland Bayou (See some of the questions below.) and involves private and government agencies in answering those questions? The results will be a printed publication about the vital aspects of Highland Bayou, distributed throughout the bayou communities, and public meetings for the same purpose. The Highland Bayou Communities are Bayou Vista, Original Bayou Vista, La Marque, Highlands, Freddyville, Scenic Galveston Wetlands Omega Bay, Hitchcock and Santa Fe. What are some prominent impacts on Highland Bayou? • The bayou originates on higher ground in Santa Fe and Hitchcock • The bayou is a little over 12 miles long. • Parks on Highland Bayou are Scenic Galveston, Reitan Park, Highland Bayou Park, Mahan Park, Jack Brooks Park • There are two wastewater treatment plants on the bayou • There are two railroad crossings • There are numerous pipeline crossings • There is a winter colony of white pelicans • There was a major flood control project built in 1972 • The bayou is close to a superfund site • There are several wetland restoration projects • There are extensive wetlands What are some of the questions we have about Highland Bayou? • What is the quality of the water?...

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How Houston Coastal Watershed Impacted Toll Of Hurricane Harvey

In late August 2017, Hurricane Harvey made landfall in Texas and caused devastation along the Lone Star State’s coast as well as in Houston and surrounding towns. Current estimates suggest the tropical storm displaced up to 30,000 people, destroyed or flooded over 130,000 residences and claimed the lives of 60 people. Whereas the hurricane’s strong winds played a large part in wreaking havoc in Texas, the downpour of up to 50 inches of rain in some areas is what caused the most damage. This would have resulted in heavy flooding anywhere, but the factors outlined below greatly exacerbated its effects. Sealed Wetlands Since the 1980s Houston has been the largest growing metropolitan region in the United States. With no mountains or hills to slow the city’s development, it has sprawled uncontrollably for the past several decades. According to research by Texas A&M, this led to 25,000 acres (10,000 hectares) or 70% of wetlands in Houston’s vicinity to be compacted and paved over. Previously the wetlands absorbed large quantities of water and drained it into neighboring bayous and ultimately the sea. Now, cemented areas create immense amounts of runoff with no place to go. Even heavy rains during normal thunderstorms can result in flooding in many areas. The disproportionately large precipitation during Hurricane Harvey could only cause catastrophes. Leaving the wetlands undeveloped would not have avoided flooding altogether. However, combined...

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