Flood Safety Awareness Week

The National Weather Service has declared March 16 through March 22 as Flood Safety Awareness Week. The National Weather Service in Jackson will feature a different educational topic each day during the 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 89 fatalities per year in the past thirty years. Flooding can occur anywhere at anytime 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 is obvious if a dam or levee is in your area while other times it is not! This is especially true if you have just moved into the area or are only visiting.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, another federal partner, has information about many dams and levee systems, many of which they do not own or control. You can contact the National Weather Service in Jackson, which 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 Jackson National Weather Service web page identifies where flooding is expected or occurring. You can access this information by visiting the NWS website 24 hours a day/7 days a week/365 days a year for the most up to date weather, flood, and emergency information. The National Weather Service also has a mobile website that can be accessed by many mobile devices and smart phones.

NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards is another way to receive any type of emergency information, including emergency flood information, very quickly. NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards is a nationwide network of specific radio stations broadcasting continuous weather, river and other emergency information direct from National Weather Service offices and emergency officials. You can purchase a weather 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, also known as S.A.M.E. Your Jackson National Weather Service office can help you with the necessary codes and programming if you have any trouble getting your weather radio programmed. These 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 at www.floodsafety.noaa.gov. You can also visit the National Weather Service in Jackson at www.weather.gov/jan. 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!

Important NWS flood websites:

National Weather Service Partners:

                 -  FEMA: http://www.fema.gov/

          -  Safety Information: http://www.ready.gov/

          -  Safety Kit Assembly: http://www.ready.gov/build-a-kit/

          -  Property Protection and Flood Insurance: http://www.floodsmart.gov/

          -  FEMA Flood Map Center: http://www.msc.fema.gov/

USA.gov is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.