Floods have impacts in agriculture (land, crops, harvests), and the built environment (homes and offices). Because of these physical impacts, there is a secondary impact on mental health, as well as family and business finances. Impacts can be reduced by Extension education immediately before, after and between floods.
In addition to knowing the nature of the flood, it is important to understand that a given flood-fight or mitigation technique proven to work on one soil type may not work on another; and that a home flood proofing project suitable for one climate and style of construction may not be suitable in another.
It is relatively easy, using the Internet or the library, to find solutions to flood problems, many of which can be employed by homeowners and small business owners. Educators and consumers should always check with your local experts and officials when selecting a flood protection system, to see what local conditions and factors may influence the success of your proposed solution.
Extension also has a role in reducing future flood damage and aiding communities in their flood damage prevention programs while working within traditional Extension program areas. Some examples would include:
- adding "Flood Insurance" to a First-Time Homebuyer program;
- adding flood risk consideration in local community and economic development plans; and
- participating in state and local hazard mitigation planning projects.
If your Extension Service provides training for newly elected community officials, the impacts of including flood-risk management in the curriculum could be enormous.