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National Flood Safety Awareness Week: March 12-16, 2012

March 13, 2012

Flooding is a coast-to-coast threat to the United States in all months of the year. Anywhere it rains, it can flood. Over half of flood related deaths occur when people drive into flooded roadways or simply walk through moving water. Six inches of fast-moving water can knock you off your feet and 24 inches will float most vehicles…including sport utility vehicles.

National Flood Safety Awareness Week is intended to highlight some of the many ways floods can occur, the hazards associated with floods, and what you can do to save life and property. And while most floods cannot be prevented…there are simple steps you can take to protect your life and property.

If flooding occurs, move to higher ground immediately.

Do not allow children to play near high water…this includes storm drains or ditches. Hidden dangers often lie beneath the water.

Flooded roadways can have significant damage hidden by floodwaters. Never drive on a flooded road.

Do not camp or park your vehicle along streams or washes…particularly when threatening weather conditions exist.

Be especially cautious at night when it is harder to recognize flood dangers.

Remember, just because you haven’t experienced a flood in the past doesn’t mean you won’t in the future. Flood risk isn’t just based on history, it’s also based on a number of factors: rainfall, river-flow, tidal-surge data, topography, flood-control measures, and changes due to building and development.

To learn more about flood safety, please visit the National Weather Service’s website or check out FEMA’s “Ready” site for tips on disaster preparedness. The key is to be aware and to be prepared.

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