Florida Emergency Management officials are reminding residents and visitors that this week is National Flood Safety Awareness Week. The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) partners with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) to raise awareness during the Week of some of the many ways floods can occur, the hazards associated with floods and what you can do to protect life and property.
“Whether due to summer rains, hurricane season, or severe weather season, the Sunshine State can experience flooding at any time of the year,” said Florida Division of Emergency Management Director Bryan W. Koon. “I encourage all Floridians to take the opportunity during this important week to learn how to better prepare for flood events and to update their family disaster plans.”
Facts on flooding in Florida:
• Flooding is one of Florida’s most frequent storm-related hazards.
• Six inches of water will reach the bottom of most passenger cars, causing loss of control and possible stalling, and 24 inches of water will float many vehicles.
• Many types of floods can occur in Florida:
o Areal floods are the most common flood threat in Florida. They often occur due to heavy rainfall over a larger area in a brief period of time. Urban areas are particularly vulnerable to this type of flooding. Additionally, a prolonged period of rainfall can also lead to flooding, often causing dangerous inundation of low lying areas.
o A flash flood is characterized as a rapid and significant rise in water level due to a sudden and intense heavy rainfall event. Flash flooding also occurs with the uncontrolled release of water held by a dam or levee.
o River flooding occurs each year in Florida. Although river flooding can be predicted, its effects, even over a longer period of time, can cause extensive damage to residents living near rivers and streams.
To avoid getting caught in a flood, follow these safety rules:
• NOAA All-Hazards Weather Radio is one of the best ways to receive warnings from the National Weather Service. Monitor the NOAA Weather Radio or your local news sources for vital weather-related information.
• If flooding occurs, get to higher ground. Get out of areas subject to flooding, including dips, low spots, canals, ditches, etc.
• Avoid areas already flooded, especially if the water is flowing fast. Do not attempt to cross flowing streams.
• Road beds may be washed out under flood waters. NEVER drive through flooded roadways.
• Do not camp or park your vehicle along streams and washes, particularly during threatening conditions.
• Be especially cautious at night when it is harder to recognize flood dangers.
One of the most important things you can do to protect your home and family before a flood is to have a family or business plan and purchase a federal flood insurance policy. For more information on the Week, tips on protecting your home, and how to purchase flood insurance, please visit www.FloodSafety.noaa.gov and www.FloodSmart.gov.
For more information on the Florida Division of Emergency Management and to GET A PLAN!, please visit: www.FloridaDisaster.org. Follow us on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/flsert or join our blog at: http://flsertinfo.blogspot.com/.