TALLAHASSEE – - Florida Division of Emergency Management officials are inviting residents and visitors to take note the week of March 12 – 16, 2012 of National Flood Safety Awareness Week. During this week, the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA), are partnering to raise awareness regarding the many ways floods can occur, the hazards associated with floods, and what Floridians can do to protect life and property.
“Whether from storm surge or excessive rainfall, flooding can be experienced at any time of year, in any area of the Sunshine State,” said Bryan W. Koon, Director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management. “I encourage all Floridians to take time during this important week to learn how to determine their home’s flood risk, stay safe during flood events, and to review and update family disaster plans.”
Facts on flooding in Florida:
Flooding is one of Florida’s most frequent hazards.
All three types of floods can occur in Florida:
Areal floods are the most common type of flood and can cause considerable damage in urban areas. Areal floods occur due to prolonged rainfall over several days, intense rainfall over a short period of time, or when a river or stream overflows, flooding the surrounding area.
Flash floods occur within six hours of a rain event, or following a sudden release of water held by a dam or levee.
River flooding can be forecasted but still can cause extensive damage.
To avoid getting caught in a flood, follow these safety rules:
Having a NOAA All-Hazards Weather Radio in the home or office is one of the best ways to receive warnings from the National Weather Service. In the event of severe weather, monitoring a NOAA All-Hazards Weather Radio or a trusted local news outlet provides a vital source for updates on local weather.
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, and just one foot of fast-moving flood water can move most cars off the road. 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 potential 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 emergency plan and to 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.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 on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/FloridaSERT.
CONTACT: PUBLIC INFORMATION