Hampton Roads, Va. – The National Weather Service has declared next week as National Flood Safety Awareness Week.
From March 16, 2014 through March 22, 2014, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) are calling on people across the country to prepare for floods before they strike and know what actions to take when faced with a flooding situation.
Floods are the most common and costliest natural disaster in the United States. In fact, on average, flooding causes more property damage in our country than any other weather related event. According to NOAA, 85 people lost their lives due to floodwaters in 2013. More than half of those fatalities were a result of people driving through floodwaters.
So through next week, officials want you to be weather-ready by knowing your risk, taking action and being an example.
Know your risk: NOAA and FEMA say the first step to becoming weather-ready is to understand that flooding can happen anywhere, affecting your family and where you live and work. It is important to sign up for weather alerts and check weather forecasts regularly. Also, learn more about your flood risk and flood insurance for your property.
Take action: Make sure you and your family are prepared for floods whether you’re together or apart. Have a plan in place. Know how you will contact one another when flooding is imminent. Also, be aware that just a few inches of water inside a home can cost thousands of dollars in damage – damage that is typically not covered by a standard homeowner’s insurance policy.
Be an example: Spread the word. Tell your family, friends, co-workers and neighbors about your plan of action so that they can become weather-ready, too.
For more information about National Flood Safety Awareness Week, click here: http://www.nws.noaa.gov/com/weatherreadynation/flood.html
Sources: NOAA, FEMA