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“Team-Work” helps the policy of advanced life-boat deployment at flood-prone areas 2015-05-22 14:37:24
Governmental policy can be succeeded that based on individual cooperation, team work dedication and the methodology of trial and error. It is rare to me to have this opportunity to participating “Team Work Experiencing & Coherence” seminar. When I accomplished this seminar registration processes step by step, I just can’t wait for it is coming and always be a curiosity about its ingredients.

It is the seminar day. When I walked in the classroom of Civil Service Development Institute Tainan City Government (CSDITN), I was with the mood of ease. The teacher of the class “Team Work Experiencing & Coherence” is a pretty woman and dressed with fashion suite. She usually doesn’t have many words in our class, but when she wants. All trainees were divided into six groups for the reason that we could have team work operation and discussion easily. Our teacher taught us how to deal with problems that we’ve faced, like known it well, analyze it broadly, handle it carefully and keep ourselves be persistent.

Due to climate change for the recent years, we found more and more floods and droughts emerging with us. It seems getting more and more serious time after time. Our country Taiwan, sits in the circum-Pacific seismic belt and the tropical cyclone moving path; there are average 3.5 typhoons invaded the island annually. Tainan city is adjacent to central-mountain at east, coast to Taiwan-strait at west. 5 major rivers and 10 reservoirs distributed among it, and its drainage and irrigation systems are fully developed. On every occasion of rainy season, torrential, typhoons and storm surges, it might cause urban low-lying terrains inundation easier.

August 7, 2009, Typhoon Morakot the most harmful atmospheric disaster within latest 50 years and broke several records of precipitation history in Taiwan, it accumulated awfully 2,583 mm rainfall in 91 hours. Typhoon Morakot, was a medium category with long-term duration of rainfall, when it stayed and poured in south of Taiwan. Extreme heavy rainfall led empty reservoirs almost full to overflow and emergency discharged in case of dam-failure. The flashing torrent also joined with tropical depression (T.D.) surge and astronomic tides, it’s been ponds and overbanks everywhere. Nearly two third of Tainan city were inundated and more than a thousand civilians left their houses; approximately 300 million NT$ loss and 28 dead.
Regarded past experiences and observations, we re-built precipitation models and analyzed inundation phenomena on scene; put map layers of advanced deployment and evacuation routes, shelters on down-scaled. With practical verifications, the advanced life-boat deployment strategy has formed and represented as below:

a.) Flood-prone areas investigation
In the wake of typhoon Morakot, Tainan city government surveyed flooding hotspots including low-lying land, rivers converging and public utilities may lead runoff into a deeply pond. 22 of total 37 Districts in Tainan city been counted, they’re all flooded areas. We governed basins by hard type measurements with municipal authorities like Water Resources, Civil Engineering, Urban Planning, Environmental Protection, and etc. We assumed all measurements like river dredging, detention pond, levee and sewage system rebuild are effected.

b.) Community hearing, education and organization
Community sites at flood-prone or inundation area, listening refugee’s feeling, re-build their psycho condition in mental health and teaching them disaster prevention senses continuity are still important. Evacuation of lonely elder, minority group and nursing unit are difficult, so we gathered community volunteers, cruisers and teaching them how to practically elude disables when hazards coming. In this phase, people should know why, when and how to getting himself away from hazards with earlier self-help.

c.) Pre-planning shelters and routes for local hazardous
Community awareness, especially proper knowledge of hazardous prevention and mitigation are crucial, it is matter of the attitude that how people face upcoming disaster and whether quickly response. Tainan city has 37 Districts; each of them has governmental authority called “District Office”. It surveyed, updated and pre-planned shelters and routes, then drew into an evading-based map. All aforementioned were taught to the flood-prone residents for helping them get rid of dangerous with go-bag.

d.) Integration of human resources and materials for advanced deployment
With past experiences of heavy rainfall actions and reactions, totally 41 advanced deployment spots in 22 districts be calculated. Practically, we synthesized and drilled it with 693 rescuers, 137 life-boats (motor), 11 life-rafts (non-motor), 6 watercrafts (jet-ski) and 111 fire engines to conquer all spots in Tainan city. It is a flexible module concept; we can only deploy necessaries in hotspot which presumed flooding.

Heavy rainfall already became a trend of extreme climate event in climate change for a few decades. Governmental authorities should get rid of “waiting for call” attitude; on the contrary, they should plan countermeasures and response actively on hotspots of flood-prone areas, if it’s predicted to be a massive evacuation or immersing.

Policy of Advanced Deployment is deeply involved with civilian, government, legislative, NPO/NGO and media. Contingency perspectives able to build strong relationship, multiple messages and command hierarchy, if have to organized a municipal unit of Emergency Operation Center (EOC). Smooth and quick response between groups is beneficial for operation, when hazard has a broadly influences.

After a flood, it is important to re-build community-based livelihood, social order and sustainable development model. Hygienic considerations in flooded area should be properly identified, evaluated, and controlled to reduce or eliminate potential health and safety risks to civilians, rescuers and workers. Tainan city government recovery activities and necessary steps that should be taken to carry out as below:
1.) Living pipelines recovery (electricity, water supply, communication and gases.)
2.) Environmental assess and livelihood resume (hygiene, potential risks and traffic)
3.) Financial, banking and insurance support
4.) Community-based re-build (public utilities, physical examination, counseling psychology and neighborhood unit)
5.) NGO/NPOs and welfare institutions step in re-establishment
6.) Resume all of professionals, trades and elaborate social function

Much progress has been made since the Aug. 2009 typhoon Morakot buffeted. Valuable experiences were also learned from municipal creative developmental strategy. Through review of actions and reactions within recent heavy rainfall events, we still received great effects and concluded constructive lessons as following:
1.) Low-lying terrain, sediment basin and public utilities led to flooding or landslide, should be updated real-time.
2.) Integrated precipitation threshold value of triggering advanced deployment up, should be drawn into GIS-based for assistant of EOC’s decision making.
3.) Hard type measurements of water management received obvious results and keep floods away from large population residential in most areas in Tainan city.
4.) Soft type measurements of awareness of hazardous prevention, evacuation and adaptation should implant in residents’ memory and behavior, in continuously.

With this section-chief training and sharing experiences, I deeply appreciated the leadership of team members and how to apply it in broadly, growing organizational culture of civil-servant, achieved mutual goals, quickly response the policy crises and implement it solidly, and familiar our policy well and defense it. Finally, encourage colleagues and people that we’d like dedicate the largest governmental welfare to peacekeeping strengths.