March 12-16 is National Flood Safety Awareness Week

FEMA (the Federal Emergency Management Agency) and NOAA (the National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration) are partnering again this year to help promote National Flood Safety Awareness Week.

Truth is that of all the natural disasters, floods are by far the most common and cause millions of dollars of damage each year as well as claiming numerous lives and not all floods are equal. Flash floods, which occur when massive amounts of rain fall in a very short period of time, will often produce dangerous rapids and walls of water that carry with it debris, logs, rocks, etc… When flash floods occur after a long period without rain they can be especially dangerous because the ground has hardened and takes longer to soften up enough to soak up the rain. Overland floods are the most common type of flood and occur when rivers overflow their banks causing millions of gallons of water to suddenly pour into low lying areas.

Even if you think your house or place of business is immune, you might be surprised. Additionally, being prepared and ready is important in order to help others in times of emergency.

Check out the FEMA Flood awareness page for more information on the causes of flooding, how and where to drive (and not drive) when flooding occurs, what to do before a flood, what to do during a flood, what to do after a flood as well as flood maps and information on getting flood insurance.

The FEMA website also includes a “Cost of Flooding tool”, a “Flood Risk Assessment tool”, a test to find out if you are ready as well as countless other resources, flyers, posters and other materials.

Taking the time now to study up, learn and be prepared can make an important difference when (not if) you end up dealing with a flooding situation.