Of Storms and Responsibility






The storm over the metropolitan Sydney area yesterday was pretty cyclonic - and we have had not so much rain so far for the month of March in the Sydney basin since 1942. 

We have always been asked to prepare ahead and to clean out the roof gutters before anything negative occurs. Soil erosion is also an immediate risk, especially if we continue to be deluged every evening. Inadequate drainage is a causative factor behind most flash floods. 

I applaud the work of our State Emergency Services or SES - always mopping up, rescuing people in a time of need and in helping us, also often taking some measure of personal risks themselves.

I have been watching the creek near my place and also noted that downstream this Creek in Fairy Meadow, Wollongong Council has been carrying out dredging activities recently. Good on them. 

The storm risks to my neighbourhood are dislodged roof tiles, as the Illawarra coast faces open ocean winds. 

It is always the perfect storm, king tides, unexpected volume of rainfall, old trees, too much bush and pre-storm existing risks in topography and drainage that combine to create havoc. Insurers can keep mum, politicians often only think of themselves and the official policy of climate change denial make responsible authorities unprepared. 

Modern society, especially in Western nations, can spend more time pampering their individual sensitivities than preventing obvious physical risks to the community. The price to pay falls on the individual consumer, not insurers who can just pass the buck and developers who can build on marginal quality sites. 

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