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Preparing for FloodsFew natural hazards are as common and destructive as floods. In fact, no other kind of natural disaster is responsible for more casualties and destruction of property as floods in North America.
Facts about Floods
- Keep in mind that when buying flood insurance, there is a 30-day wait between purchase and start date.
- If you live in a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA), your home must have flood insurance.
- Just a few inches of water can cause thousands of dollars in damage, and some flash floods can bring walls of water up to 15 feet high.
General Awareness Tips:
- Set a family communication plan, keeping everyone on the same page about contact information, utilities, pets and evacuation strategies.
- Build an emergency kit with basic supplies such as water, food, batteries, a first-aid kit and medications. Don’t forget your pets! Make an emergency kit for them with food, water, an extra leash and a blanket.
- Join local disaster support groups to learn flood preparation skills and to assist in relief efforts in your own area.
How to prepare for a flood:
- Follow local and national weather reports and be ready to evacuate to a high surface at a moment’s notice.
- Always avoid floodwaters; just six inches of water can knock you off your feet, and just two feet of water can carry your car away.
- Be careful to keep children out of floodwaters and at night when danger may be harder to see.
*This information compiled from the emergency preparedness sites of the American Red Cross, Department of Homeland Security, Centers for Disease Control, NOAA National Severe Storms Laboratory and National Flood Insurance Program.