One year ago today…

On the 3 October 2015 a violent storm with heavy rain and thunder swept through the region. Roads as well as buildings were flooded, many people lost their homes and a huge number of lives were lost. While there is a lot to be said about what happened, and many tragic stories could be told, we would like to focus on how to prevent another catastrophe like this from happening.

Biot village
The beautiful village of Biot

Many of the victims had gone down to their garages to attempt to move their cars outside, not realising how quickly they water would rise.

A water filled garage
Many buildings were flooded

The French government has a campaign on how to act (and how not to act) in the case of a storm like this again. They used different social media to spread the information quickly when the region went into orange weather alert recently, but you can also find it here (in French).

The golden rules are:

  • Stay informed! Listen to the radio, check Facebook and other social media to quickly find out what’s happening
  • Don’t take your car, and don’t go for a walk
  • Check on the people you love (and your neighbours)
  • Stay away from the sea, rivers etc
  • Don’t go outside. Stay inside!
  • Don’t go down to basements or garages. Stay on a higher floor if there is one.
  • Don’t pick up your kids at school – they are save where they are

Maybe the one rule that we all need to be reminded of: only 30cm of water is necessary to make a big car float away. Should you find your car in water, open the windows (!) quickly and get out before the pressure of the water makes it impossible.

It rarely rains in this region, but when it does, it’s often rains heavily!

Biot is organising a ceremony tonight for the many victims of the flooding last year. It’s held at l’Espace des Arts et de la Culture Henri Carpentier at 18:00. An invitation has already been sent out to the many people that showed up spontaneously to help the many people who had their houses flooded, but you can also download your own invitation.