Tue, 15 Mar 2011 18:03:54 GMT — This week is Flood Safety Awareness Week. And all across the United States each year many lives are taken or put at risk by flooding. In every state or territory floods destroy property costing billions of dollars annually. NOAA National Weather Service storm data shows us that on average floods kill more people every year than lightning, tornadoes and hurricanes.Whether its ice jams, rapidly melting snow, torrential thunderstorms or slow-moving tropical storms, floods are a threat across the USA year round.Floods can happen anytime and anywhere. They can also happen fast. Whether you live near water or not you should always be ready. Here are some things you can do to prepare:
Copy your most important documents (mortgage papers, deed, passport, bank information.) Keep copies in your home and store originals in a secure place outside the home, like a bake safe deposit box. Save and store receipts for any expensive household items (appliances, electronic equipment, etc.) so that you have proof of orignial cost. Make an itemized list of other possessions, such as clothing, books, small kitchen appliances, etc. You don TMt have to note every items cost, but the more comprehensive your list, the better. Have an Emergency Plan
Provide your insurance agent, your employer and other family with your emergency contact information, so that you can be reached after a flood. Have an emergency kit with a flashlight, spare batteries, candles and waterproof matches. Keep a minimum 3-day supply of non-perishable food and bottled water on hand. Include a battery-powered radio in your kit with spare batteries. Even if you TMve never experienced a flood, you TMll be glad to have this during a power outage.
Flood insurance coverage is limited to certain elements in a basement such as a furnace, a hot water heater and items essential to the building TMs structure. Monitor potential flood hazards using a NOAA Weather Radio or the Internet.
Hopefully, you never have to experience a flood firsthand, but if you do here are a few things you can do to stay safe:
When a flood warning is issued (Flash Flood, Areal or otherwise), heed official instructions. Don TMt walk through a flooded area. Just six inches of moving water can knock you down. Don TMt drive through a flooded area. It only takes 18-24 to lift and move a car, even an SUV. More people drown in their cars than anywhere else during a flood. Keep away from downed power lines and any other electrical wires - electrocution is often a major cause of death in floods. Watch out for animals who TMve lost their homes. Animals may seek shelter in your home and aggressively defend themselves.
The risk is real. Understand your flood risk and know where to access flood information in real time to assess and respond to flood threats. Source: NOAA
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