Flood Safety Awareness Week
Today's Topic: Flood Safety and Awareness

It floods somewhere in the United States or its territories nearly every day of the year. Flooding causes more damage in the United States than any other weather related event, with an average of eight billion dollars a year and an average of 95 fatalities per year in the past 30 years. Flooding can occur in any of the 50 states or U.S. territories at any time of the year, sometimes very quickly. Being prepared in advance and knowing a few flood safety tips will help you and your family survive a flood if it happens in your area.

Knowing your risk in advance is the best way to prepare for flooding of any type in your location. Many of our partners provide information to help you determine if you live in a flood prone area. For example, our federal partner FEMA has an online map service center that you can visit to see if you live in a flood plain. Also knowing if there is a dam or levee system in your area is important. Sometimes it’s obvious if a dam or levee is in your area and other times it’s not, especially if you have just moved into the area or you are only visiting. Another federal partner, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has information about many dams and levee systems. But they don’t own or control all of them. Contact the local NWS office. It is a great resource to find out about dams and levees in your area and the risk associated with them. If a dam or levee fails, flash flooding can happen very quickly and you need to know what to do before it happens.

The National Weather Service web page identifies where flooding is expected or occurring. You can access this information by visiting the NWS website twenty four hours a days, seven days a week, three hundred sixty five days a year. For the most up to date weather, flood and emergency information, the NWS mobile website can also be accessed by many mobile devices and smart phones. NOAA All-Hazards radio is another way to receive any type of emergency information, including emergency flood information, very quickly. NOAA All-Hazards radio is a nationwide network of radio stations broadcasting continuous weather, river and other emergency information direct from nearby NWS offices and emergency officials. You can purchase an All-Hazards radio from many electronics stores and they can be programmed to receive information specific to your area if it contains the specific area message encoding capability, known as SAME. Your local NWS office can help you with the necessary codes and programming if you have any trouble getting your all hazards radio programmed. Also All-Hazards radios can be portable if they have a battery back-up and can come in handy on trips where you need to know important weather information including information on current flood risks.

These are just a few tips to help you prepare for a flood. For more information, please visit our flood safety awareness website.

Knowing your flood risk, how to prepare for and actions to take before, during and after a flood can save you time, money and even your life. Prepare now and be a force of nature!

Join us tomorrow for information on the different types of floods.

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