PHILADELPHIA – If you have been watching the news, then you know that the threat of a flood in your neighborhood is a very real possibility. Some communities are responding to flooding right this minute. At the same time, other areas in the region are still recovering from floods earlier in the year. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Region III office continues to actively monitor these developments as we share tools on how to prepare for a flood before it occurs, survive during flooding and how to remain safe after flooding.
FEMA and the National Weather Service (NWS) have a variety of tools to help you prepare for flooding. Start by being informed – know your risk, where turn for the latest information, and what you should do if flooding impacts you. “Flooding is the most common and costliest disaster in the United States – it can occur in any community at any time. In a flood, your life depends on being prepared which is why we encourage individuals, commuters, families, and communities to prepare,” stated FEMA Region III Regional Administrator MaryAnn Tierney. Know the terms for flooding:
- Flood Watch – flooding is possible; remain alert and stay tuned to official information sources for the latest.
- Flood Warning – flooding is occurring or will soon; take action now, move to higher ground and take steps to stay safe.
- Flash Flood Warning – a flash flood is imminent or occurring; take action now and move immediately to higher ground.
- Flood Advisory – flooding is not expected to be bad enough for a warning; remain alert.
The NWS’ Flood Safety Tips and Resources (www.Weather.gov/safety/flood) and FEMA’s Ready Flood Toolkit (www.Ready.gov/floods) provide a great place to start looking for information and tips to prepare for flooding.
Being prepared for potential flooding means taking action now. Many simple actions can prepare you for potential floods and protect lives and property from the impacts of flood waters. “Sign up to get emergency alerts from your local government. Don’t attempt to drive through flood waters, risking your life and that of those who could have to rescue you. Considering purchasing flood insurance, which provides the best protection against financial ruin after a flood,” stated Tierney. Check with your local officials for the latest information, and sign up for emergency alerts – these can come through to your phone to update you on potential flood risks. Follow official sources for weather updates as well – as rain continues to accumulate, water may rise and inundate streets and bridges. Do not attempt to cross flooded roads – just one foot of water can sweep your vehicle away and it can be difficult to determine how deep the water may be.
Flooding can be dangerous, but being prepared can greatly reduce that risk. Multiple accessible tools by FEMA and the NWS can help you stay informed and be prepared. FEMA’s Flood Safety Toolkit (www.Ready.gov/flood-toolkit) has resources, graphics, and social media content to help spread the word and keep your loved ones informed. Download the FEMA mobile app (available in English and Spanish) for a customizable checklist of emergency supplies, maps of open recovery centers, disaster survival tips, and weather alerts from the NWS. The app also enables users to receive push notifications reminding them to take important steps to prepare their homes and families for disasters. The NWS Interactive Flood Information Map tool (www.Weather.gov/safety/flood-map) lets users review specific flood information for their state, as well as resources for staying safe.
As FEMA and the NWS continue to monitor the effects of the past few days’ precipitation on the region, as well as the rain forecast to impact the region, take steps to protect yourself and stay safe. Flooding can happen at any time, and being prepared ensures you, your family, community, and business are able to adapt to changing conditions and be resilient before, during, and after flood events.
FEMA’s mission is helping people before, during, and after disasters. FEMA Region III’s jurisdiction includes Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia. Learn more about FEMA Region III at www.FEMA.gov/region-iii. Stay informed of FEMA’s activities online: videos and podcasts are available at fema.gov/medialibrary and youtube.com/fema. Follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/femaregion3.