Flooding is a regular occurrence in Thailand, where the rainy season can last for up to 6 months of the year. Every year, without fail, many parts of the country suffer various degrees of flooding.
The 2011 floods, which caused 1.425 trillion baht ($46.5 billion) in damage saw countless residents lose their homes, while others had to carry out extensive repairs in the aftermath. The Thai government has taken action to implement a range of strategic plans in urban and rural settings to prevent the re-occurrence of a flood crisis of that magnitude.
While these efforts will undoubtedly help limit the damage caused by excessive rain, it is of equal importance that all residents take it upon themselves to keep themselves and their homes as safe as possible during the rainy season.
A well-sealed house will let in less water
During 2011 Thailand experienced what was the worst flooding in more than 50 years. An estimated 2,329 houses were completely obliterated during the flood, while a further 96,833 were partially damaged. A lot of damage was caused by water seeping into the house through poorly-sealed windows and doors.
Silicone works very well to seal any gaps around the perimeter, while sandbags can be used in front of doors to keep most of the water out. Many people make the mistake of waiting for the rainy season to arrive before they make sandbags and check their homes for places where water can enter. Ideally, this should be done during drier weather, so that any work that is needed can be done quickly and without interruption.
Clean gutters can reduce damage significantly
Just past midnight on Friday, 13 October 2017, heavy rain started lashing down on Bangkok. As a result of the downpour that lasted for several hours, large parts of the Thai capital were flooded. As many homeowners started assessing the damage to their properties after the rain subsided, it became apparent just how important clean, well-maintained gutters and downpipes are.
Gutters and downpipes that are clogged with leaves and other debris are unable to carry water away from the house as they should. If water gets into the house it can cause extensive damage to floors and furniture, while also triggering the growth of mold, which can lead to severe health concerns.
Stocking up on essentials
In August 2017, flooding in the northern and eastern parts of Thailand left at least 23 people dead, and caused damage in the region of approximately $300 million. The incessant rain also left parts of the country submerged for over 5 days, forcing countless residents to remain in their homes. When rainy season approaches, it is imperative to stock up on a number of basics.
Ironically, water is scarce during flooding as delivery trucks are unable to enter the affected areas, and residents stock up for this very reason. Apart from having enough water on hand to last at least a week, it comes highly recommended to also stock up on non-perishable food, flashlight batteries, and any prescription and emergency medicine that may be needed.
Preparing for flooding has almost become a way of life in Thailand. Residents taking active steps to keep rain damage to their homes to a minimum will not only save a lot of money, but prevent severe heartache and distress as well.
By Jennifer Dawson