Six days of flooding in the Balkans has led to over 100 deaths throughout Serbia, Bosnia, and Croatia and has already caused estimated billions of Euros in damage, with more costs projected in the future. Over 40 percent of Bosnia is affected by the floods, and Serbia has had over 2,200 miles of roads destroyed or damaged.
In addition to the tragedy of lost human lives, much of the region does not have the money to rebuild. However, Bosnia and Serbia have begun negotiating with the European Union to receive support for reconstruction, and Bosnia’s Serb region has asked its ally Russia for aid.
The northern flatlands in Bosnia received some of the worst flooding, and much of the region’s infrastructure, farms, buildings, and homes have been wiped out, and over one quarter of the country’s population of 4 million have been affected by the floods. Along with the flooding throughout the Balkans, there have been approximately 2,100 landslides in Bosnia alone.
Many in the Balkans are dealing with weak economies and high unemployment rates. As a result of the region’s poverty and the fact that the vast majority of homeowners there do not have property insurance, many who have been affected by the floods have lost everything.
While countries such as the United States and Canada have significantly better infrastructures, flooding can still cause considerable damage. This spring throughout New England and eastern Canada, melting snow and heavy rains made rivers overflow. Previous storms, such as Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Sandy, created billions of dollars in damage, killing thousands of people and displacing hundreds of thousands more.
In addition to carrying flood insurance for your home, homeowners should be prepared for all weather events. Even a typical thunderstorm can lead to a flooded basement or a leaking roof.
One helpful precaution homeowners can take is waterproofing their foundations, which can keep water from entering a basement. Any sign of water damage in a home should be taken care of immediately, as significant damage can lead to mold growth and, eventually, structural failure.