In the U.S., floods cause more property damage each year than any other weather-related catastrophe. For National Flood Safety Awareness Week, federal agencies have created some great tools to keep you safe and help you prepare for floods that may occur this year. People’s Trust suggests you always listen to and follow local directives such as evacuation orders.
In Florida, we’re used to the trouble that flood waters can cause, but to underscore the severity of flooding in the U.S., take a quick look at these flood facts from the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration and the Federal Emergency Management Agency:
- 85 people were killed in freshwater floods last year.
- Floods cause $8.3 billion in damages each year.
- Floods can occur in any of the fifty states and at any time of the year.
People’s Trust is joining the call of NOAA and FEMA to “Be a Force of Nature” by understanding the risks and taking steps to secure yourself against floods. The best place to start is to create a supply kit for all disasters, floods included, that has fresh water, non-perishable foods, first aid kit, flashlights, blankets, batteries and a battery-powered radio, and important family documents.
After you’ve got your kit prepared, you’ll want to brush up on your meteorological skills for all of these warnings, watches and advisories that come your way during flood season. The current flood notices in use by the National Weather Service (NWS) are:
- Flood Advisory: Advisories are issued when flooding is possible but isn’t expected to pose a significant hazard. This alert is mainly a signal to pay attention and take precautions against dangerous situations.
- Flood Watch: This is issued when it is likely that a flood will occur in an area. This does not mean flooding has already happened, merely that it’s likely to.
- Flood Warning: When flooding occurs or is imminent, your weather service will issue a Flood Warning. Take immediate action to protect yourself and move to higher ground.
- Flash Flood Warning: This warning means that a flash flood is occurring or expected to occur at any moment. If you’re in a low-lying area immediately get to high ground. Flash floods are powerful and violent with the ability to move to areas that aren’t currently seeing rain.
The NWS has a great tool to help you create a plan for any flood event. The service is free and will help you stay dry if bad weather strikes.
Are you worried about the risk of flooding where you live? Check out this great projection map from NOAA online here, but remember that this is just a guess for the spring. Always pay attention to local alerts and take appropriate action. If you’re told to evacuate, do it. People’s Trust will be there to help you recover and we urge you to always take your family to safety.
Remember, if you can leave an area where floods are expected but haven’t started, getting out of harm’s way is always the best bet.
Just 6 inches of water from a flood can cause tens of thousands of dollars in damage. The average flood claim is for more than $40,000, but you can protect your belongings by having flood insurance.
Flood insurance is not covered by your homeowner's insurance policy and must be purchased separately. Call People’s Trust Insurance today to discuss your Flood Insurance needs: 1-866-972-1547. There is a 30-day wait on most new policies, so act before it’s too late.