Today marks the close of Flood Safety Awareness Week -- during which, FEMA has worked to bring awareness of the risks flooding poses to many of our homes and communities. Floods are one of the most common hazards in the United States and no two flooding disasters are alike.
Some flooding events develop slowly, while others such as flash floods can develop in just a few minutes with little notice and without any visible signs of rain. Many disasters and emergencies share this characteristic – appearing dramatically with no warning signs much like tornadoes and earthquakes.
But there are meaningful and practical steps that you and your family can take to be prepared for all hazards, not just flooding, to stay safe and mitigate damage to property.
The first thing you can do is to be informed and know your risk; familiarize yourself with potential risk where you live and work. Knowing what to do before, during and after an emergency is a critical part of being prepared and may make all the difference when seconds count.
Here are some additional steps you can take now to ensure you’re prepared for potential future flooding:
- Making a Plan: Your family may not be together when a disaster strikes so it is important to plan in advance and create an emergency communications plan. Know how you will get to a safe place; how you will contact one another; how you will get back together.
- Building a Kit: Assemble the items you will need in advance of an emergency. You may be instructed to evacuate at a moment’s notice. Think about what you may need immediately after an emergency. This should include food, water and other supplies in sufficient quantity.
- Get Involved: There are many ways to get involved especially before a disaster occurs. Your whole community can participate in programs and activities to make your families, homes and communities safer from risks and threats.
To learn more about flood risks in your area, visit www.floodsmart.gov.
For more information on all hazard preparedness and ways you can protect your family before, during and after an emergency or disaster visit www.ready.gov.