Lessons from abroad on how to deal with floods emergency

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From: Mr P Wade, Locksley Gardens, Birdwell, Barnsley.

‘MONEY will be no problem’ is politician-speak for anything from ‘we will look again at this’ to ‘check with your insurer’. The three little words which get things done are ‘State of Emergency’.

When Brisbane suburbs flooded in 2011, the Australian government had no hesitation in declaring a State of Emergency and we saw the TV coverage of volunteers helping to get people back into their homes, something which would have stalled without state cash; my son was fortunate that the water stopped at his doorstep but he still got $5,000 because his garden flooded.

I was in Sydney a couple of years earlier when hailstones the size of grapefruits crashed through roofs into people’s lounges and trashed their cars. A State of Emergency was declared and next day roofs and cars were being repaired. President Obama uses it to help US citizens.

Once a State of Emergency is declared, the Government picks up the bills instead of leaving you on your own to fight it out with an insurance company. Volunteers can only do so much on their own, the magic words will do the rest.

From: Barrie Frost, Watson’s Lane, Reighton, Filey.

IS the world’s climate changing and becoming warmer? If the climate is becoming warmer is this the result of natural occurrences or is it due to man polluting the atmosphere?

In either situation is man able to halt or reverse the enormous power of nature?

Professor Mat Collins is one of the Met Office’s most senior experts in climate change models and in a recent debate insisted there is no link between the recent storms which have battered Britain and global warming.

Such storms, he said, had been driven by the jet stream which has been ‘stuck’ further south than usual and there is no evidence that global warming can cause the jet stream to be so positioned in winter. The reason the jet stream is in this position is outside our current knowledge, he said. But, what does Professor Collins know when so many amateur experts are able to pontificate on climate change?

From: Allan Davies, Heathfield Court, Grimsby.

YOUR article reporting Mr John Kerry’s address on climate change (Yorkshire Post, February 17) was more than welcome. In comparing global warming sceptics to members of the Flat Earth Society, he reminded me of an anecdote told of Bertrand Russell when he addressed a meeting of that Society.

As he approached the end of his address in which he had given an account of the development of his knowledge of the solar system from the time of Ptolemy, he was interrupted by a lady in the audience who protested: “Young man, you are a fool. It’s flat!”

Russell asked her: “In that case, upon what does it rest?”

“A tortoise” replied the lady.

“Then upon what does that tortoise rest?” he asked.

“Another tortoise” came the reply. After several more exchanges,the lady exploded: “Fool! Fool! It’s tortoises all the way down!”

Sad to relate, scientific illiteracy still persists in the 21st century.

From: Tim Mickleburgh, Boulevard Avenue, Grimsby.

WHATEVER we might think of a government which responds quicker to floods in the South than the North, everyone must feel sympathetic to the individuals affected.

Nevertheless, I’d have thought that those who chose to buy a house by a large flowing river, namely the Thames, would have considered the possibility of flooding before making their purchase – I know I would have done if I’d had that kind of money.

From: Peter Hyde, Driffield, East Yorkshire.

I TRY to take a sensible view of the world but still struggle to understand why foreign aid has to be ring-fenced. We are in debt up to our eyeballs, we have cut every service to the bone, the NHS, the Armed Services and the police can scarcely do a proper job due to the cuts they have had to bear and yet Cameron and Co give money away that is used to fund corrupt officials and even India’s space programme.

Let us not forget that much of the need in those foreign countries is brought about through the corruptness or incompetence of their leaders. Zimbabwe was considered the garden of Africa but now Mr Mugabe builds huge palaces for himself and his cohorts whilst his people starve.

Our flood victims need help just as much as anyone else. Charity should begin at home.

From: John Blakey, Park Villas, Leeds.

I DON’T know why everyone wants to stop our foreign aid budget. Foreign aid is 0.7 per cent of GDP. It’s like having £100 and moaning about spending 70p on charity.