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Protect Yourself During a Flood
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By Member Nick Smoot
March 16, 2018

Know your Risk!

Flooding is the most common natural disaster in the United States. Deadly flooding can happen anywhere and faster than you might expect. It is important to be prepared for flooding if you live in a low-lying area near a body of water, such as a river, stream, or culvert. You should also be wary if you live along a coastline or downstream from a dam, levee, or area that has been burned by wildfire.

What:
Flooding is a temporary overflowing of water onto land that is normally dry. Flooding may happen with only a few inches of water, or it may cover a house to the rooftop. There are many possible causes of floods including heavy rain or snowmelt, coastal storms and storm surge, waterway overflow from being blocked with debris or ice, or overflow of levees, dams, or waste water systems, Flooding can occur slowly over many days or happen very quickly with little or no warning, called flash floods.

Where:
Flooding can happen in any U.S. state or territory. It is particularly important to be prepared for flooding if you live in a low-lying area near a body of water, such as near a river, stream, or culvert; along a coast; or downstream from a dam or levee.

When:
Flooding can occur during every season, but some areas of the country are at greater risk at certain times of the year. Coastal areas are at greater risk for flooding during hurricane season (i.e., June to November), while the Midwest is more at risk in the spring and during heavy summer rains. Ice jams occur in the spring in the Northeast and Northwest. Even the deserts of the Southwest are at risk during the late summer monsoon season.

Basic Safety Tips
-Turn Around, Don’t Drown! ®
-Avoid walking or driving through flood waters.
-Do not drive over bridges that are over fast-moving floodwaters. Floodwaters can scour foundation material from around the footings and make the bridge unstable.
-Just 6 inches of moving water can knock you down, and one foot of moving water can sweep your vehicle away.
-If there is a chance of flash flooding, move immediately to higher ground.
-If floodwaters rise around your car but the water is not moving, abandon the car and move to higher ground. Do not leave the car and enter moving water.
-Avoid camping or parking along streams, rivers, and creeks during heavy rainfall. These areas can flood quickly and with little warning.

For further information, visit www. ready.gov.

Hyperlinks: Ready.gov Flooding Information
FEMA Flood Maps
National Flood Insurance Program
 
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