March 14, 2011 officially kicks-off National Flood Safety Awareness Week as residents in the Northeast, Midwest and South continue to take care of the aftermath from recent floods and prepare for more. The National Weather Service reminds residents that flooding is a threat that can occur all over the U.S. during any time of the year. The goal of National Flood Safety Awareness Week is to educate people about the types of floods, the hazards associated with flood and about flood preparation.
Floods are one of the most frequent and costly natural disasters in the U.S. One of the most important flood safety tips is to know the difference between a flood/flash flood watch and a flood/flash flood warning. Where there is a flood watch, this means there is a possibility of flooding in an area. On the other hand, a flood warning indicates there is already a flood in an area or flooding will happen soon.
When you hear about a flood or flash flood watch in your area, grab your emergency disaster kit, listen to the news for updates and be ready to evacuate. If you do need to evacuate, do not drive on a flooded road. It is hard to tell how deep the water is and rapidly moving water as low as two feet can sweep a car away. If you have to evacuate at night, find out if any of the roads are closed so you can adjust your route accordingly. Never wade in floodwater and keep children away from the water. Floodwater may be contaminated with toxic chemicals or contain sharp objects that you may not see.
Being ready for a flood can save your life. Learn about recovering from a flood.