CHARLESTON, W. Va. -- In the midst of one of the most active hurricane seasons in years, West Virginians should be aware that hurricanes have many effects, including storm surges, tornadoes, and often the most deadly of all - inland flooding.
While tornadoes are always a potential threat, more people have died from inland flooding in the last 30 years. Intense rainfall is not directly related to the wind speed of tropical cyclones. In fact, some of the greatest rainfall amounts occur from weaker storms that drift slowly or stall over an area.
Inland flooding can be a major threat to communities hundreds of miles from the coast as intense rain falls from these huge tropical air masses.
Federal and state disaster officials advise the following:
- When you hear hurricane, think inland flooding.
- Determine whether you live in a potential flood zone.
- If advised to evacuate, do so immediately.
- Keep abreast of road conditions through the news media.
- Move to a safe area before access is cut off by flood water.
- Do not attempt to cross flowing water. As little as six inches of water may cause you to lose control of your vehicle.
- Develop a flood emergency action plan.
- Purchase flood insurance. Flood damage is not covered by homeowners insurance. Do not make assumptions. The average policy through the National Flood Insurance Program is $382 per year.
- Call 1-888-CALL-FLOOD ext. 445; for TDD, 1-800-427-5593.
On March 1, 2003, FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. FEMA's continuing mission within the new department is to lead the effort to prepare the nation for all hazards and effectively manage federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident. FEMA also initiates proactive mitigation activities, trains first responders, and manages the National Flood Insurance Program and the U.S. Fire Administration.