It is no more a news that Kerala has witnessed the worst flood in the history of last 100 years. The beautiful state has gone through the worst natural disaster which has ruined it into parts. As reports suggested, more than 300 people lost their lives and more than 2 lakhs have taken shelter in camps. Though the entire state witnessed the flood, a few districts have seen the worst of it and those include Kochi, Thrissur, Wayanad, Malappuram, Kannur, Alappuzha, Kozhikode, Ernakulam, and Palakkad.
After continuous rainfall that exceeded by 30.7% from June 1st to August 15th, it has finally stopped. This made the flood water to decrease. It may seem as a relief, but there wait for more countless problems to attack Keralites after the worst flood.
I, as a sincere citizen, along with many other contributed to the relief of Keralites, but this is not the only thing or the end of the line. Many countries too donated in the relief along with our own government. But there lie a lot of things that now people of Kerala need to know about. Thinking of all the problems, hunger, no shelter, loss of properties, and what not, I am trying a bit to make sure that Keralites get to know from where to start. Though it is just a mere thing I can do, I know it will help them a lot.
The need of the hour
Of course, I know, people have been contributing in the relief fund. A few websites even introduced a new section for donating stuff like ration, napkins, pads, and other necessary items. But trust me, it still isn’t enough. I am not blaming people for not doing enough, they did and I too played my part. It is just that we didn’t think, I guess no one did, that what exactly Keralites need at this hour. And I only realized that we are lacking with our thoughts when I read the news of an IAS from Daman who has done what we didn’t even think of. The answer to what exactly should be sent to the people of Kerala at this crisis.
An IAS officer, Sajjan Singh (Advisor to Administrator (Daman)) has done the right thing and he sent a truck containing essential medicines to Kerala. Well, did the thought of donating medicine dawn at you? Well, it certainly didn’t dawn on me.
With the decreasing level of flood water, people are now struggling to get back to their normal life. This is not easy because the real damage will now be more evident everywhere when there will no water. People can realize that they have to start from the scratch now. With the receding water level, many diseases will also be left behind which is why the medicines are the real need of the hour. Diarrhoea, typhoid, and dengue are just to name a few and there are dozens of health risks that are now Keralites being exposed to.
This step can be taken as a lesson for the future if any natural disaster stuck, but for now, all those NGOs and camps supplying other essential items should also include medicine as another essential.
If you think you still can contribute to the relief then make sure that you contribute common medicines, first aid boxes, or ORS to the NGOs working in the field. Also, for better effect, try contributing medicines in bulk and then send them. The loose packet in such scenario is never a good idea. Make sure of the packaging.
Apart from medicine being one of the most important needs of the hour, there are many essential items that Kerala people need at this time. On the behalf of many, I too feel like thanking each of all who contributed for Kerala.
Now, apart from the donation and important supplies, Kerala itself needs to do a lot to recover from the loss. Here are a few things that Keralites must do to prevent falling into any health disease because the state is prone to many health-related problems.
Absorbing water from every corner
Keeping this in the first place because we all know the post scenario of the flood. People will obviously retire back to their home but only to realize that every corner has witnessed the severe effect of the flood with most of the things gone. Well, in this case, water absorption is the best way to deal with getting rid of the water that has reached almost every corner of your house. Sodium Polyacrylate is the best opt-in for this case. The substance can absorb water up to 100%.
Condemning stored food
Food is one of the major sources that help us stay alive and function, but when the same source is packed and left can become a home to many health risks and diseases. The first thing needs to be done to decrease the level of health risks is to condemn all the stored and tinned food. If left for a long time, it can even turn poisonous. Also, make sure that if you have any utensils at home, you wash utensils properly with chlorine or bleaching powder to make sure that the germs are not left behind.
Purification of water even for domestic use
Well, water is that one source that can reach any place and if it is contaminated then it can ruin everything. This is what Kerala is facing now. The state is facing severe water scarcity. Well, addressing to scarcity may take some time, you can at least make sure of purifying the water. Before you are using water for domestic purposes, make sure to clean the water with a chlorine tablet. This will negate the health-related problem that water may have caused by 95%.
Keep an eye on personal hygiene
Right now, personal hygiene is one of the most important concerns. Remember, you have not come out from the danger zone and you are now prone to many health diseases than the usual. Try not to enter the areas that still are submerged into the flood water. If your nearby areas have any broken pipes then avoid using the tap water directly. National Disaster Management Authority has issued the same.
You must be aware that stored water is the place where mosquitoes live and flourish so you can imagine the state of Kerala. Use mosquito nets, repellent, and all that can keep you safe from them. In the case of pets, take them to vets. There are many vets that are attending animal medical emergencies in Kerala for free.
Inspect your house before going back
Flood is not only about submerging into deep neck water, but it comes with a lot of troubles. It leaves behind many life-threatening factors like broken pipes; loose wires, reptiles, and many others. As the water level has receded, you may think of retiring back to your house. But do you think going straight back to your house would be a good choice? Well, it is not! You must inspect your house at the first place and see if any loose wires or reptiles are taking place in there. Only if you are sure that it is safe to go, make your move.
Clean kitchen kits
Food is the essential item and kitchen kits are essential for the preparation of food. While most of the utensils must have cleaned off by flood, you should clean the rest with chlorine or bleaching powder. Those who want to donate even now can donate utensils. You can also donate them via Amazon.in.
Bedding items and clothes
It is needless to even mention that people are struggling even to get a space to sleep, but now, a sense of relief is there with the decreasing level of water. But before you think, you can go back to your home and sleep on your bed after cleaning it then you are certainly wrong. You can wash or dry clean the clothes, but bedding items can’t be. You will have to throw them out of your house. Local authorities will help you in the same.
If you wish, you can donate clothes and bedding stuff to Kerala too.
The need for labourers, plumbers, and technicians
Kerala will have to build itself step by step and everything from the core will need fixing. Almost every establishment will need labours, plumbers, and technicians. For this, Kerala will need our support. If you know people who can visit Kerala and offer their services for free then do recommend them. Also, if you can sponsor fund for them, you can do the same. For you news, a Bengaluru established facility management company has sent a team of 20 technicians to Kerala. The mission was to restore light facilities in over 500 houses in Alua and Thrissur. Out of which, 300 has been completed.
Reclaiming the important documents
The most severe loss people are facing is the loss of their documents like books, voter IDs, ration cards, land deeds and what not. But, you don’t have to worry much about this. Also, spread the word so the one’s suffering can take help with the same. You can also claim the insurance, but for that, you need to follow the guidelines and you should reach out to your respecting insurance companies.
Kerala Government has assured the replacement of these documents. You can know the details and procedures here.
You can apply for a duplicate ration card at your Taluk’s supply office. The duplicate ration card will be an issue and meanwhile, you can apply for the new ration card.
You can reclaim your voter ID card and follow the procedure at http://www.ceo.kerala.gov.in. Also, you can download the form from the website and submit it to your electoral office or tehsildar. You may need to submit the photocopy of your original card.
The issue of the new aadhar card is the easiest. As it contains every single detail of a person, it will be easier to trace them. You will have to visit the nearest Akshaya Kendra office where officials will issue the aadhar card after the biometric test.
Driving License or RC book
If your RC book or driving license is damaged but it is with you then you can visit the regional transport office. If you have lost it then you will have to issue an advertisement in a newspaper after which the RTO will issue the documents within 14 days.
You will have to submit an application for getting the certified copy at the sub-registrar office. If you have the registration date or number then it will easier for you.
If you or your children have lost textbooks in the flood, all you need to do submit an application in DDE office with the headmaster’s certificate. DDE will issue new textbooks.
Other than these, there are many do’s and don’ts people need to follow. The same is applicable for both, living in a shelter and going back to their homes.
- Health workers should keep an update on the medicines and people who are prescribed to take it.
- Make sure to prevent any water to get stored as it will be a home to many diseases.
- Make sure to wash your hands almost after everything. Also, if you are a volunteer and working in an affected area, make sure to take preventive medicines.
- Pregnant women should take extra care and guidance of a doctor. Do not take medicine on your own.
- Those who have got any sort of wound by anything during the flood, make sure to take tetanus.
- Clean water with bleaching powder before any domestic purpose. Release stored water from every place.
- Drink only boiled water
- Sterilize clothes and plates before using
- Burn paper and other waste and hand over plastics to the local bodies
- Avoid using stored food items.
- Do not leave food open.
- Avoid plastics with other garbage
- Do not use a wet bed or wear wet dresses
- Avoid taking medicines on your own if you are feeling a fever or any other health issues. Visiting doctor is always important.
These are some of the essential information that Keralites need to know at this hour. The effect is, of course, beyond measure but with the help of so many volunteers and people around, Kerala will again regain what it has lost.