Prepare for Flooding
April showers bring …. increased risks of flooding. It’s the No. 1 natural disaster in the United States, causing $8.3 billion in damages annually.
Last year, 85 people lost their lives to freshwater flooding and more than half of those fatalities were a result of people driving into floodwaters. The National Weather Service is trying to reduce that number through its “Turn Around Don’t Drown” educational campaign.
FEMA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) urge citizens to prepare for a flood before it strikes and know how to keep your family safe when a flooding event strikes your area. Keep tabs on the local forecast, create a disaster supplies kit, and alert others via texts and social media when a flood threat or other hazardous weather threat exists. Get a weather radio and sign up for Wireless Emergency Alerts.
Get the facts. Know the risks. Take action to protect yourself, your family, your pets, your business and your finances before you’re under water.
Before a flood
- Practice your family emergency plan. Plan and practice flood evacuation routes from home, work and school that are on higher ground.
- Conduct a thorough home inventory. Thorough documentation of your belongings will help you file your flood insurance claim.
During a flood
- Go to higher ground. Get out of areas subject to flooding, including dips, low spots, washes, etc.
- Avoid areas already flooded, especially when water flows fast. Do not attempt to cross flowing streams. Just six inches of moving water can knock you off your feet.
- Never drive through flooded roadways. Roadbeds may be washed out under flood waters and just two feet of moving water can sweep an SUV off the road.
After a flood
- Check for damage. Check for structural damage before re-entering yoru home. If you suspect damage to water, gas, electric or sewer lines, contact authorieis.
- Remove wet contents immediately. Wet carpeting, furniture, bedding and any other items holding moisture can develop mold within 24 to 48 hours. Clean and disinfect everything touched by floodwaters.
- Plan before you repair. Contact your local building inspections or planning office or your county clerks’ office to get more information on local building requirements.
- File your flood insurance claim. Be sure to provide the name of your insurance company, your police number, and contact information. Take photos of any water in the house and damaged personal property. Make a detailed list of all damaged or lost items.
~Federal Emergency Management Agency