Should we have sympathy for flood victims?

Apr 5, 2008
3,736
0
0
ThreeName said:
If someone gets hit by a runaway truck, you don't go "Well they shouldn't have left their house or been within 10 meters of a road because that sort of thing is possible, because it's a road!"
Phrozenflame500 said:
Yeah, exactly, they all chose specifically to live near flood prone areas.

Just like all those silly people who choose to live in war-torn poor countries instead of moving the the first-world.
DoPo said:
So-o-o...flood victims were asking for it, right? And look at how the victims of earthquakes were dressed and how they act. Appalling! They totally deserve having bad shit happen to them - they have nobody to blame but themselves.
I don't know if you all missed my original post, but either way you're missing the point I was making. I'm not talking about unforeseen disasters, such as the one currently affecting Somerset. The current flooding there is, from my understanding, due to three main factors: unpredictably high rainfall is the obvious one, combined with a shifting landscape (which has seen neighbouring farmlands turned into (non-absorbent) housing or modernised, lacking adequate flood defences) and a cost-cutting measure by local governments who ceased river dredging some years ago.

The point I am making is with regard to foreseeable disasters. No one who lives in Florida for example could possibly be unaware that the state is a regular target for hurricanes. Each Floridian aware of this therefore chooses to risk the hurricanes for the otherwise nice place to live. Should the government in this instance, spend millions of American tax dollars to subsidise insurance for homes destroyed in an area known to be at such high risk? Should those homes not have been built to sufficiently high standard to withstand the inevitable punishment they'll face?

As I mentioned previously, there are currently homes being built on high-risk floodplains in the UK, in full knowledge of the local councils and developers, against the advice of the experts. I think it's completely irresponsible and don't like the idea that tax money will end up going to aid in a problem that we know, from now, will happen. I'm adding to that all foreseeable disasters, like flooding in Louisiana, earthquakes in Frisco, etc. where the victims were not prepared and in full knowledge of potential issues. Speaking of which...
skywolfblue said:
We can and SHOULD blame the city planners when they build in an area like:

1) New Orleans without the ability to withstand a Cat 5 hurricane that was assured to hit there sooner or later. Look at Holland, they've got safeguards out the wazzoo, New Orleans has zippo, crossed it's fingers and "hoped" Katrina would never come.
I agree entirely about where the blame there should lie, though in the case of Katrina it was a very special case, albeit one which, again, comes back to the idiot planners. The problems Nawlins had with Katrina were, as I understand them:

- Despite warnings, city planners failed to either make or stick to evacuation plans, in particular for the most vulnerable. The fact is many people did get to safety and the ones who didn't only didn't because they couldn't, either lacking the means or ability.
- New Orleans has two defences against flooding, the levees and the pump system. The levees failed, some within their supposed ability to cope and that failure led to the submerging of pumping stations. Those pumps then failed, either through neglect or loss of power and the two failures combined to leave 3/4 of the city underwater.

It seems like a case of not being prepared enough in spite of warnings, and blame almost certainly lies with those responsible for planning against emergencies and those who built and (failed to) maintain the defences. You even point out the Dutch as an example and I agree that that's an excellent example. Considering the Netherlands is almost entirely below sea level, they take the battle against flooding seriously and their track record to date is exemplary.
 

Eamar

Elite Member
Feb 22, 2012
1,320
4
43
Country
UK
Gender
Female
Jamieson 90 said:
Eamar said:
Jamieson 90 said:
I have sympathy for people in most situations and scenarios, but if you KNOWINGLY CHOOSE i.e. buy and move into a house WHILST FULL WELL KNOWING that you'll be living in an area that is at HIGH RISK of FLOODING, and where there have been floods in the past, then I find it hard to be sympathetic in that case. However I'm sure there are many situations where that's not the case i.e. I don't think that 7 year old boy who died in Somerset chose to live there for example, nor can you help it if you're too poor to move or can only afford housing in certain areas.
I grew up in Somerset, very near to some of the areas that are currently flooded, and my family still live there. This has never happened to anything like this extent before in my lifetime. Unless you're saying no one should live near rivers (or the sea), I don't really see what your point is. It's not like this is a regular occurrence; it's newsworthy because it's unusual.
My point is if you CHOOSE as in you knowingly decide to live in a flood area, then you shouldn't be surprised when you get flooded, even if it is a rarity. As I said of course that doesn't apply to everyone; you can't help where you grow up etc and sometimes people can't move away etc etc. I was aiming my point more at people who buy homes in known flood areas.
And again, my point is that if you live near a river or near the sea you are automatically at risk of flooding. Are you saying no one should live near bodies of water? Should people just not live on the Somerset Levels? Do we do away with fishing villages? The severity of the current flooding in Somerset would have been greatly reduced had the authorities kept up with the necessary maintenance and preventative measures. Some of the villages affected are by no means new builds in "obvious" trouble spots either - Northmoor Green/Moorland has been around far longer than modern planning practices without major incident. This situation was in no way "inevitable," and if you're going to criticise people for choosing to live there you're going to have to start criticising a whole lot more people too, because (as others have pointed out) there are vast numbers of other locations around the world with comparable levels of risk.
 
Apr 5, 2008
3,736
0
0
direkiller said:
I think you will find it's less likely to flood then the news report will let on, as I don't think anyone would move building materials into an area that has that high of a chance of flooding before the building is done.
This article [http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/nature/the-more-the-experts-warn-against-the-more-we-build-on-flood-plains-9101710.html] suggests otherwise. The second paragraph in particular stands out:
As Britain endures another weekend of torrential rain and further flooding, figures obtained by The Independent on Sunday reveal that last year local councils allowed at least 87 planning developments involving 560 homes to proceed in England and Wales in areas at such high risk of flooding that the EA formally opposed them.
87 developments were approved to go ahead in areas which the Environment Agency formally opposed. They are knowingly allowing homes to be built on high risk floodplains. The local council makes a quick buck from the sale of land, the developer makes a quick buck from selling the homes they build and the homeowners are left living in areas which are almost certain to flood and Westminster to pick up the tab.

Insurance companies don't want to insure them [http://www.iconvey.co.uk/articles/the-unexploded-bomb---insuring-properties-in-areas--at-risk--of-flooding-1140609/index.php] and in honesty, as much as one might loathe money-grubbing companies (necessary evil tho they are), in this instance I cannot blame them. If I were an insurer, and someone with a home on a floodplain asked me to insure their home I would either refuse or charge a ludicrous premium since I *know* that inevitably they're going to need a payout at some point. That is just plain, logical sense. The government are subsidising the cost of the premiums (with taxpayers money) between what is a "normal rate" which people can afford to pay and the actual amount insurers need to charge because those homes are built in known, high-risk areas.
 

Funyahns

New member
Sep 2, 2012
140
0
0
Why wouldn't you sympathize with someone who has lost everything? It's not like it actually cost you money to do so. Anytime someone is hurt, injured or killed you should feel a bit bad for them their family. It is called empathy. If you don't feel bad for people in those situations then there is a good chance you are sociopath and someone should check your basement and the woods near your place.
 
Apr 5, 2008
3,736
0
0
amaranth_dru said:
I love how Florida gets a bad rep for hurricanes, but people ignore the fact that Texas has the worst record for strikes in the country.
Since 1851 -
Florida: 110 total (35 Cat. 3-5)
Texas: 273 total (92 Cat. 3-5)
That's very interesting about Texas. Why isn't it ever newsworthy then? Or at least, internationally news worthy, do you think? Are they better prepared, less affected? That's staggering considering Florida is the state with the reputation for suffering hurricanes, at least overseas.
 

Imperioratorex Caprae

Henchgoat Emperor
May 15, 2010
5,499
0
0
KingsGambit said:
amaranth_dru said:
I love how Florida gets a bad rep for hurricanes, but people ignore the fact that Texas has the worst record for strikes in the country.
Since 1851 -
Florida: 110 total (35 Cat. 3-5)
Texas: 273 total (92 Cat. 3-5)
That's very interesting about Texas. Why isn't it ever newsworthy then? Or at least, internationally news worthy, do you think? Are they better prepared, less affected? That's staggering considering Florida is the state with the reputation for suffering hurricanes, at least overseas.
Its because we're Florida. And probably since our last few hurricane tangles were interesting (2004's weird hurricanes that repeatedly hit mid/south florida) and 1992's Andrew that did a crapload of damage to southern Miami (20 miles from my house in Key Largo, which our area was untouched save for having no power for almost a month). I don't know exactly though why Texas doesn't get mentioned much when it comes to hurricanes, maybe the media stays away from mentioning Texas in a bad light because they have guns out there. Don't mess with the Lone Star state.
 

michael87cn

New member
Jan 12, 2011
922
0
0
Sympathy costs you nothing, give it freely and without refrain. You in-human... I mean you fairly normal people....
 

Jamieson 90

New member
Mar 29, 2010
1,052
0
0
Eamar said:
Jamieson 90 said:
Eamar said:
Jamieson 90 said:
I have sympathy for people in most situations and scenarios, but if you KNOWINGLY CHOOSE i.e. buy and move into a house WHILST FULL WELL KNOWING that you'll be living in an area that is at HIGH RISK of FLOODING, and where there have been floods in the past, then I find it hard to be sympathetic in that case. However I'm sure there are many situations where that's not the case i.e. I don't think that 7 year old boy who died in Somerset chose to live there for example, nor can you help it if you're too poor to move or can only afford housing in certain areas.
I grew up in Somerset, very near to some of the areas that are currently flooded, and my family still live there. This has never happened to anything like this extent before in my lifetime. Unless you're saying no one should live near rivers (or the sea), I don't really see what your point is. It's not like this is a regular occurrence; it's newsworthy because it's unusual.
My point is if you CHOOSE as in you knowingly decide to live in a flood area, then you shouldn't be surprised when you get flooded, even if it is a rarity. As I said of course that doesn't apply to everyone; you can't help where you grow up etc and sometimes people can't move away etc etc. I was aiming my point more at people who buy homes in known flood areas.
And again, my point is that if you live near a river or near the sea you are automatically at risk of flooding. Are you saying no one should live near bodies of water? Should people just not live on the Somerset Levels? Do we do away with fishing villages? The severity of the current flooding in Somerset would have been greatly reduced had the authorities kept up with the necessary maintenance and preventative measures. Some of the villages affected are by no means new builds in "obvious" trouble spots either - Northmoor Green/Moorland has been around far longer than modern planning practices without major incident. This situation was in no way "inevitable," and if you're going to criticise people for choosing to live there you're going to have to start criticising a whole lot more people too, because (as others have pointed out) there are vast numbers of other locations around the world with comparable levels of risk.
Should no one ever live near water? No of course not, that would be stupid, but should people consider the risk and then make an informed choice based on that risk? Yes and having taken that decision should they then be surprised when they do get flooded? No, especially not when they were warned that it was a possibility. Of course if they were not warned for whatever reason or if the climate has changed or if the flood defenses have been neglected, then no that's not their fault.
 

General Winter

New member
Sep 13, 2013
56
0
0
Speaking as someone who's lived through floods (although calling them floods might be overstating), yes, yes you should. My particular case was living in a neighbourhood that should have had the water system fixed the first time, and then didn't get it until after yet another. I wasn't very old at the time, but I would have been extremely pissed had I been older. It's not always one persons fault they live in a dangerous area.
 

direkiller

New member
Dec 4, 2008
1,656
0
0
KingsGambit said:
direkiller said:
I think you will find it's less likely to flood then the news report will let on, as I don't think anyone would move building materials into an area that has that high of a chance of flooding before the building is done.
This article [http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/nature/the-more-the-experts-warn-against-the-more-we-build-on-flood-plains-9101710.html] suggests otherwise. The second paragraph in particular stands out:
As Britain endures another weekend of torrential rain and further flooding, figures obtained by The Independent on Sunday reveal that last year local councils allowed at least 87 planning developments involving 560 homes to proceed in England and Wales in areas at such high risk of flooding that the EA formally opposed them.
87 developments were approved to go ahead in areas which the Environment Agency formally opposed. They are knowingly allowing homes to be built on high risk floodplains. The local council makes a quick buck from the sale of land, the developer makes a quick buck from selling the homes they build and the homeowners are left living in areas which are almost certain to flood and Westminster to pick up the tab.

Insurance companies don't want to insure them [http://www.iconvey.co.uk/articles/the-unexploded-bomb---insuring-properties-in-areas--at-risk--of-flooding-1140609/index.php] and in honesty, as much as one might loathe money-grubbing companies (necessary evil tho they are), in this instance I cannot blame them. If I were an insurer, and someone with a home on a floodplain asked me to insure their home I would either refuse or charge a ludicrous premium since I *know* that inevitably they're going to need a payout at some point. That is just plain, logical sense. The government are subsidising the cost of the premiums (with taxpayers money) between what is a "normal rate" which people can afford to pay and the actual amount insurers need to charge because those homes are built in known, high-risk areas.
The news did not answer my question, and merely restated what the last one did. Again saying they are building on a flood plane is worthless, the important thing is how rare the event is that that flood plane falls into.


Also according to that last paragraph 80% are taking measures to prevent flooding. So doing some maths from data given in that article a grand total of 2.4% of new housing is not taking measures for flooding when they are considered at risk, and depending on the circumstances in those cases that may not be a serous issue. So I am more convinced you are buying into news hype then I was before.

Also for the record
my house is on a flood plane, the state here offers subsisted flood insurance as Insurance company do not cover flood damage normally, and it is required if you have a morgage(by banks not by law).
The thing is, I live on a 100 year flood plane so anything less then biblical will not get my basement wet.
 

barbzilla

He who speaks words from mouth!
Dec 6, 2010
1,465
0
0
gibboss28 said:
Hero in a half shell said:
As a planner all the blame should always be on the councils, building control and the builders for being so greedy as to greenlight these builds in floodplains, whilst ignoring adequate flood defences.

Living in flood plains isn't so bad if you think ahead: ie. plan for the worst and build accordingly. That means if you know there is a danger of 10 foot high flooding then either build houses 11 foot high or not at all. It sounds extreme, but unless you are Aquaman it is necessary.
All the warning signs were there, it was the councils that ignored them, it was the Environment Agency that stopped dredging the river/building up the flood walls, it was building control that let the planning permission through, it was the builders that submitted the plans for these houses. That is where the development should have stopped, that is where the development could have been made flood-proof, but it wasn't and so that is where the blame lies.

Most of the people who bought houses there I'm sure never expected anything like this. Many of these people will be long term residents whose families have been in the area for as long as they can trace back, and never experienced floods like this.

Make no mistake, there are several strict governmental bodies put in place to stop exactly this from happening, and they failed. It's their failure that we should show no sympathy for, not the people who lived in the area, or moved there for professional/personal reasons.
This pretty much sums up everything I was going to say. but with a lot less cursing out the Environment Agency. Especially that **** Lord Smith.
I'm going to second your post.

There is absolutely no reason to have some smug sense of "They should have know better" attitude towards people who have been hit by a natural disaster. First off, a serious disaster is a rare thing (per place, not globally), so the odds of something happening within any immediate time frame is pretty slim. This is also why contractors take shortcuts to save money and increase their profits when building there, same with the city council and zone planning commission. Not that I intend to make excuses mind you, I'm only stating why they thought they would get away with it.

These people need to be audited and if any irregularities are found, be prosecuted to the fullest extent. A good number of people lost their place in the world along with all of their worldly possessions. Some people lost their lives as well, all because someone wanted more money.
 

Diddy_Mao

New member
Jan 14, 2009
1,189
0
0
It depends on the situation. I'd say 9 time out of 10 yeah the folks deserve every ounce of sympathy their community can muster. Losing your home, and in some cases belongings to an uncontrollable force of nature is a brutally efficient way to strip you of any feeling of safety and control you might have.

That last 1 time however.

To provide an example. I live in a state where some of our local rivers are prone to flooding. If we get a higher than usual rainfall or if our snow melts faster than usual it's floodin' time. And every single time it happens I see some news story about someone losing the house that they just finished building and I can't help but think. "What the fuck did you think was going to happen?"

I mean I still feel sorry for their losses but I don't have much sympathy for their situation.
 

DkLnBr

New member
Apr 2, 2009
490
0
0
MorganL4 said:
I thought this very briefly as a kid, then it was pointed out to me my my mother that there is nowhere on this earth that is simultaneously devoid of earthquakes,floods,hurricanes,tornadoes,drought,avalanches,tsunamis,blizzards/snowstorms, volcanoes etc...

In other words, yes, yes we should have sympathy for these people, because tomorrow YOU could be that person, and you would want help if suddenly you had no home or possessions through no fault of your own other than the home you chose to live in (if it was even a choice).

Here where I live we have to worry about volcanoes and earthquakes, but if I move to Nevada I will have to worry about droughts and heat waves. If I move to New York, I have snowstorms and floods or even hurricanes. Kansas has tornadoes. Seriously, to blame people for their plight based on their geographical location is just ignorant.
Well damn... I was going to post, but I dont know what to add now.
I suppose I could make an analogy about how I'd still have sympathy for people people who've been injured/killed in a car crash (or who even if they just lost their car) when they chose to drive on a notorious highway
 

Ieyke

New member
Jul 24, 2008
1,402
0
0
The one time I have no sympathy is New Orleans.
The morons built a city between the country's largest river and the ocean....below the water of both....and they try and keep the water out with stupid little walls.
It's mind-numbingly stupid.

People who grew up there and have no choice but to be there, okay, fine. But anyone who ELECTS to live there deserves to get flooded when nature decides to come demonstrate why that's a moronic idea.

That's as smart as building a magnetic city on a planet where it occasionally hails chunks of iron, or building a city out of sugar when you know the area has monstrous ants.
 

Ieyke

New member
Jul 24, 2008
1,402
0
0
amaranth_dru said:
KingsGambit said:
amaranth_dru said:
I love how Florida gets a bad rep for hurricanes, but people ignore the fact that Texas has the worst record for strikes in the country.
Since 1851 -
Florida: 110 total (35 Cat. 3-5)
Texas: 273 total (92 Cat. 3-5)
That's very interesting about Texas. Why isn't it ever newsworthy then? Or at least, internationally news worthy, do you think? Are they better prepared, less affected? That's staggering considering Florida is the state with the reputation for suffering hurricanes, at least overseas.
Its because we're Florida. And probably since our last few hurricane tangles were interesting (2004's weird hurricanes that repeatedly hit mid/south florida) and 1992's Andrew that did a crapload of damage to southern Miami (20 miles from my house in Key Largo, which our area was untouched save for having no power for almost a month). I don't know exactly though why Texas doesn't get mentioned much when it comes to hurricanes, maybe the media stays away from mentioning Texas in a bad light because they have guns out there. Don't mess with the Lone Star state.
We're really prepared.
We get hit with plenty of hurricanes, but typically we give no shits, and the worst that happens is we lose power for a bit because some powerlines went down, or some houses have to get new roofs because a tree fell on them.

There are exceptions, of course.
Galveston Island got legendarily obliterated way back in 1900. The deadliest storm in the history of the USA.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1900_Galveston_hurricane

"The hurricane caused great loss of life with the estimated death toll between 6,000 and 12,000 individuals"
 

MammothBlade

It's not that I LIKE you b-baka!
Oct 12, 2011
5,246
0
0
We don't have to have sympathy for anyone. Giving a shit is voluntary. But, in my view, there are a lot of things that we can't account for. The same can be said of any natural disaster victims. Don't want to get hit by an Earthquake or Tsunami? Don't live in Japan. Don't like flooding? Why the hell are you living next to the coast? It's just mindless, callous victim blaming all over again.

There are reasons people move to flood plains. Because they're otherwise highly desirable areas. Because their family live there. Because that's where they work. Or perhaps because that's the most affordable housing. These things don't happen all the time. It's a risk. A risk which not everyone is really aware of, since they moved there when it was a really attractive place to live. Blaming the victim is just a pathetic way of ignoring the fact that bad things happen to good people for no reason at all. This world is cruel sometimes.
 

Yuno Gasai

Queen of Yandere
Nov 6, 2010
2,587
0
0
LittleWings said:
To be honest, I have sympathy for victims. Full stop. "Victims" sort of says it all... If you are a victim of something, I will almost certainly have sympathy for you
This is more or less how I feel.

But in addition to feeling sorry for you, I will question your choices. Particularly if it is revealed you were aware of the flood warning risks in your area, and chose to ignore them. I get it's easy to adopt the "it'll never happen to me" mentality, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't be prepared.

Hopefully these people will learn from the floods and will be better equipped to deal with them next time. Or will move out of flood risk zones. Whichever.