Monday, July 15, 2024
Environmental Management

Climate Change and Remediation Meteorology

Climate change caused by greenhouse gas emissions is, by its very nature, a global issue. A common strategy and binding targets must therefore be defined on a planetary scale.

This is the aim of the international climate change conferences held in Rio, Copenhagen and, in December 2015, Paris. The solutions then need to be implemented locally.

Recently these extreme phenomena have caused serious damages in our country and the elimination of the consequences has constituted difficult and complex technical rescue tasks.

Through the analysis of the catastrophe situations that have most frequently occurred in the recent past and the operations performed in order to eliminate the consequences, it has become perceivable that the phenomena tend to occur at higher intensity; intervention is necessary at several venues at the same time; several organizations may need to coordinate their activities.

Large emphasis must be laid on prevention; unfortunately, the catastrophe situations caused by the extreme meteorological phenomena cannot be prevented (meteorological catastrophes) but it is possible to prepare for rapid and complex remediation and mitigation of the damages.

In most cases, remediation is performed by units of the professional organizations specialized in the elimination of damages (e.g. the fire department) with their own equipment; however, the municipalities and the citizens are obliged to help defense works.

The fire-fighters intervene with their special fire engines and professional equipment. In case of this activity, the efficiency of coordination is of crucial importance, just as the expertise and experience of the personnel performing the intervention.

The elimination of the damages starts the moment the report is received. Reports are received by the county operations management centers or, in case of Budapest, the metropolitan operations management center.

The decision regarding the determination of the alert level is largely dependent on the types of information the responsible person (operations management officer) receives from the reporter of the event and the experience he already has from earlier remediation activities.

The reporter of the event must be questioned in a targeted way about all the important information related to the incident because the lack of these data may result in sub-optimal alert level, which in turn will later impact remediation.

Of course we often cannot get an answer to all of our questions because reporters of the incidents are nervous, tend to rush and hang up too early. After evaluating the report, instructions are given to the relevant remediation unit, where the forces and equipment are alerted.

When the alert is issued, the following factors must be considered: size of the endangered zone, life danger, evacuation tasks and the extent the elements of critical infrastructure is jeopardized.

After the incident has occurred, a report can also be made at the mayor’s offices. This is what often happens in smaller settlements. In many cases, especially out of office hours, reporters contact no other than the mayor.

Following a quick on-the-spot survey, if the extent of the damages justifies it, the mayor must contact the professional remediation organizations.

It is very important that the Mayor’s Office should have a list with the contact information of the professional organizations involved in damage elimination and those of the local security committee members.

Copies of the forms recording the basic data must also be retained here. If the Mayor’s office receives the report, the defense officer in charge is in a decision-making situation immediately after reporting the case because he/she must determine if there is enough time to wait for the professional units or if urgent action is required.

In certain obvious situations when fast intervention seems unavoidable (defense works affect several settlements, the professional units are overburdened and they cannot start remediation activities within a short time), damage elimination actions must be started.

The Steps of Remediation

After the alert has been initiated, the units have to approach the venue of the incident using the shortest route. After arriving at the venue of the incident, the commanding officer performs the duties of controlling the rescue operations with sole responsibility.

When arriving at the venue, the fire engines must be parked at a safe place where the vehicles suffer no damage; otherwise they could not be moved and deployed later on.

First of all, before determining the tasks, a thorough and broad survey must be conducted, considering the nature of the incident, wearing the appropriate protective clothes.

During the survey, special attention must be paid to the following:

Establishing the necessity of personal rescue; the number of endangered persons must be determined,

Based on the visible signs (damages to buildings, excess water, fallen trees, snow-drift, etc.), the expectable consequences (danger of fire or explosion) must be determined.

Climate Change

The condition of the public utilities,

Whether further information from or assistance by the providers of public utilities is needed,

The determination of the possibilities of enclosing the dangerous zone (declaring it a closed area),

After performing the above survey, the tasks can be determined and the remediation of the damages can be started. In case of incidents affecting a vast area, the partner organizations must also be involved in the procedure. The most important tasks of the police include securing the closed areas and directing the traffic on alternative routes.

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Civil protection has a role in organizing the possible evacuation and ensuring the availability of shelters for the evacuated population.

In case of incidents involving collapsed buildings resulting in multiple injuries or mass catastrophes, the special rescue organizations must be deployed in addition to the ambulance.

It is advisable that the fire department and the other organizations participating in the rescue operations should perform the rescue tasks with extreme attention and in the previously agreed order of precedence.

The tasks of the various organizations must be clearly established, as well as the issues of control and communication. The leader of the rescue operations controls the partner organizations operating on the venue of the incident through his unit commanders.

In many cases, the interventions must be performed under extreme conditions. These incidents usually result in extreme circumstances, thus the remediation of such incidents is not performed the usual way. It is extremely important to preserve the physical integrity of the personnel performing the intervention so the safety rules must be observed.

Flood-Like Rains

The excess water can be drained using trenches and pumps in many places; however there may be parts of the town where protection will involve using sandbags. If the precipitation occurs outside the populated areas, trenches must be used to prevent the water from affecting populated areas.

Flood-like rains typically mean that an extreme amount of precipitation fall within a short period of time, which the canal system is unable to manage so the accumulated rainwater occurs as excess water in several parts of the populated areas.

The major steps of protection are as follows:

Prevention of immediate danger of life and accident risk.

Tasks of protection and value preservation.

Getting the equipment (sand, sandbags, hand tools, etc.) needed for protection to the venue.

Ensuring the drainage of water.

Ensuring the continuous operation of the transportation equipment and the machinery.

In case of lengthy remediation operations, ensuring the supply and recreation of the intervening forces and other logistics tasks.

Continuously providing information to the population and eevacuation if necessary.

Gale-Force Winds

In most cases gale-force winds can be predicted so the population must be informed in advance about the preventive measures.

It is a typical characteristic of gale-force winds that they make their impact in relatively shorter periods of time, uprooting trees, tearing off roofs, damaging the electric and telephone network and causing accidents both on the railways and the roads.

Remediation activities are mostly performed by units of the professional organizations but municipal governments and the population also play an important part in the mitigation of damages. The most important tasks of protection are as follows:

The intervention must be performed while continuously monitoring the changes on the venue and without endangering the physical integrity of the personnel,

Immediate danger of life must be eliminated in all cases and the affected people must be placed in safety,

Continuous communication with providers of the public utilities,

Prevention of unwanted conditions,

Ensuring the logistic background, transportation vehicles, other machinery and devices,

Heat-Waves

Besides many other factors, the Green Book issued by the European Committee draws the attention to the health damaging effects of heat- waves. Therefore, in order to protect the population, it is especially important to elaborate a program of measures for the event of heat-wave alerts.

Attention must also be paid to the risk-free organization of outdoor sports events and other programs during heat-waves and the health prevention of people working outdoors, including the supply of water, relaxation in the shade and the proper work clothes.

Regarding the environment and environmental health issues, priority is given to such public utility and communal services that may favorably or unfavorably impact not only the quality of the environment but also the life conditions of the population during heat-waves.

Regarding the supply of electricity, the needs of all consumers can be satisfied including a 2-3 hours long shutdown at the time of heat-waves. As Hungary is a transit country, the dangers affecting the transportation sector must also be considered in case of heat-waves.

The railways, the motorways and the public roads can all be sources of risks. The frequent removal of communal waste is important during heat-waves because this was we can prevent the danger of infections. In most cases heat- waves can be predicted so the population must be informed about the preventive measures in order to preserve health.

Tasks related to the elimination of damages include:

Attention must be paid to the reports issued by the Meteorological Service and statements of the National Public Health and Medical Officer Service (ÁNTSZ),

Continuous information provided to the population, which must include the necessity of consuming ample amounts of liquids, staying in shaded areas and the dangers of leaving their homes,

Ensuring the liquid supply and, if needed, medical supervision of the personnel performing the intervention,

In case of high daily average temperatures for longer periods, continuous communication with the providers of drinking water in order to ensure the appropriate supply of water for the public organizations and the civil population,

Ensuring drinking water for the injured and affected in case of mass accidents.

Releasing the drinking water reserves.

Operation of vehicles transporting drinking water and distributing drinking water to the population at the assigned venues.

Continuous operation of watering carts along the most important routes,

Opening the air-conditioned facilities for the population,

In summary, recently these extreme phenomena have caused serious damages in our country and the elimination of the consequences has constituted difficult and complex technical rescue tasks.

Through the analysis of the catastrophe situations that have most frequently occurred in the recent past and the operations performed in order to eliminate the consequences, it has become perceivable that the phenomena tend to occur at higher intensity; intervention is necessary at several venues at the same time; several organizations may need to coordinate their activities.

Climate change caused by greenhouse gas emissions is, by its very nature, a global issue. A common strategy and binding targets must therefore be defined on a planetary scale.

This is the aim of the international climate change conferences held in Rio, Copenhagen and, in December 2015, Paris. The solutions then need to be implemented locally.

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WealthInWastes

Benadine Nonye is an agricultural consultant and a writer with several years of professional experience in the agriculture industry. - National Diploma in Agricultural Technology - Bachelor's Degree in Agricultural Science - Master's Degree in Science Education - PhD Student in Agricultural Economics and Environmental Policy... Visit My Websites On: 1. Agric4Profits.com - Your Comprehensive Practical Agricultural Knowledge and Farmer’s Guide Website! 2. WealthinWastes.com - For Effective Environmental Management through Proper Waste Management and Recycling Practices! Join Me On: Twitter: @benadinenonye - Instagram: benadinenonye - LinkedIn: benadinenonye - YouTube: Agric4Profits TV and WealthInWastes TV - Pinterest: BenadineNonye4u - Facebook: BenadineNonye

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