A rant about the presentation of flood victims in the media

This is, as the name suggests, a bit of a rant. In short, because of personal experience, I am finding the media coverage of the current flooding a little offensive, in particular the emphasis on how the government (and various services) aren’t doing enough to help. I wrote this for myself to vent and it might not be the clearest ‘argument’ but that’s what I’m annoyed about. All the same, if you’re affected by the current situation you probably don’t want to read this. Good luck and stay safe. ❤

Not what one means by river side views!

Flooding is awful. No arguments there.

I’ve had friends from around the world asking me about the weather in the UK – we’re getting notorious. The national news is filled with stories of people suffering and pictures of the power of the weather.
Of course, that’s what we have all, seemingly, forgotten: the world is a heck of a lot more powerful than we are. If we are going to build a train-line alongside the seafront then we have to allow for the fact that one day that sea might just decide that it doesn’t belong there. We humans who have tried so hard to conquer the world are rediscovering that she is a lot stronger than we could ever be.
Something that is really making me angry is the way the media is focusing on these floods. I only have to be in the room when the news is on to hear something about the government not doing enough to help flood victims or someone whining about the situation. The worst bit was a lady who was interviewed and was dramatically proclaiming about how she was “going to loose everything” and “why isn’t anyone doing anything!?” As she did this interview you could watch military personal helping her family empty the house and help them evacuate. She’s not been the only one acting like this, a lot of interviews have been similar. I wonder how much is the media hyping things up and taking things out of context. Whatever the reason, it’s making me quite angry and actually really upset
Once the water’s in the house it’s tricky to get it all out
In July 2012 there was a flash flood. We got very little warning about it. It was unexpected. My mother and I were abroad, my father was at home. He moved as much as he could with no help. The entire bottom floor of the house was flooded, quite badly. We lost a lot. Over the next three weeks we fought to get stuff cleaned up. Sweeping water out. Lifting sodden, sewerage ridden, heavy carpets out. Finding the book that you bought when you were six and loved dearly swollen with flood water. Finding a fish in the sitting sitting room. Finding half of you dissertation research half way down the lane, ruined of course. This is without the whole rigmarole of getting dehumidifiers, redecorating…
In November/December we had no more warning really and we flooded four more times. It was more expected because of the month but you get six hours if you’re lucky. On the bright side, so much was destroyed the first time that there was not much left for the water to claim.
This is not what one expects from the emergency services
During this time, we were offered no help. Actually, I tell a lie. Down the road from us, on higher ground, lived a family who we had spoken to a couple of times. They had an autistic son, he must have been 13-14, who came down to look at the water rising and who offered to help us move things. The fire brigade came down while we were stuck in the top floor of our house, the water creeping up the stairs… they stood there and took photos on their smart-phones. No-one even asked if we were alright. We were really let down by those who were supposed to, I guess, help us. At the time I felt really let down and seeing all the moaning in the press has re-inflamed that for me.
After the water receded, the clean up started once again. As I said, we had already lost the majority of the material things in July so this wasn’t so bad. Our landlord wanted us out, however, as he’d had enough so we had to move things out of a house that was, for all intents and purposes, contaminated. I ended up seriously ill. It took me six months to be anything like healthy again. We had no where to go. We ended up, quite honestly, homeless. Luckily, because of my mother’s savings we were able to stay in Travelodges for a while. This is the reality of flooding.
So yes, in short, it is horrific. If you know anyone at risk, or an area at risk, and it is safe for you to do so, I would urge you to go and offer your help. Remember that the clean up takes months at best, realistically years.
As for the media, or anyone else who is saying things about lack of help from the government etc., you stayed quiet a year ago when others were struggling (it wasn’t just my family, of course). There is a lot more help this time and, ultimately, no one is going to be able to hold back the power of nature. I do seriously believe that this constant moaning is coming from media spin and hype but it’s upsetting me quite a lot really. 
If your someone who has been flooded, or is faced with that possibility, no matter how much help you’re getting, my heart does go out to you. Also, as impossible as it sounds, laugh about it. It’s better than the alternative ❤
Photos were taken by me when my house was flooding in 2012/2013. They were mainly taken as the water receded and we came to see what damage was done. The one of the fireman was taken as the water rose but after we were trapped upstairs.

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