KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- With more rain forecast to impact parts of Missouri and crests on some rivers still days away, staff at the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) Region VII office continue to coordinate with state officials in Missouri as they respond to high water on area rivers, particularly in southeast Missouri.
"It appears the threat of heavy rain and flooding is not over. Residents should continue to be on heightened alert, be prepared, and stay informed," said FEMA Region VII Administrator Beth Freeman. "As evident in St. Louis this weekend, being prepared and having a plan saves lives and prevents injuries. We have been in constant contact with the Missouri State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) since the severe weather hit and we continue to monitor the forecast for additional heavy rain and flooding. We stand ready to assist if requested."
On Monday, at the request of the state, FEMA deployed a state liaison officer to the State Emergency Operation Center in Jefferson City. This key position helps bridge communications between the state and other federal partners.
When flooding occurs, the first responders are local emergency and public works personnel, volunteers, humanitarian organizations, and numerous private interest groups. This collection of agencies helps provide emergency assistance required to protect the public's health and safety to meet immediate needs.
FEMA has pre-staged emergency commodities across the United States should they be needed to support state and local emergency response operations. In addition, FEMA has staff on standby in the event that the state requests assistance.
In the event of flooding, residents should follow the instructions of state and local officials and listen to local radio or TV stations for updated emergency information related to severe weather and flooding.
IMPORTANT FLOOD SAFETY TIPS
- Do not drive or walk through floodwater. Drowning is the number one cause of flood deaths which occur after individuals drive or walk through floodwater. Turn around and find an alternate route if a road is flooded; it is almost always more dangerous than it appears.
- Create an evacuation plan before flooding occurs.
- Discuss flood plans with your family; everyone should know what to do in case family members are not together when a flood occurs.
- Evacuate immediately if advised to do so.
- Keep emergency supplies on hand, such as non-perishable food, medicine, maps, a flashlight and first-aid kit.
- Use extreme caution when returning to flood damaged homes or businesses.
- Become familiar with the terms that are used to identify flooding hazards:
Flood Watch: Flooding is possible. Tune in to NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio, or television for information.
Flood Warning: Flooding is occurring or will occur soon; if advised to evacuate, do so immediately.
Flash Flood Watch: Rapid rises on streams and rivers are possible. Be prepared to move to higher ground; listen to NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio, or television for information.
Flash Flood Warning: Rapid rises on streams and rivers are occurring; seek higher ground on foot immediately.
- The National Weather Service is the official source for weather watches and warnings.
For more information on being prepared for disaster and flood preparedness and safety, visit Ready.gov