The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) are partnering to improve public awareness for National Flood Safety Awareness Week, March 17-21, 2014. The agencies' goal is to improve understanding about flood risk among individuals, families, businesses and communities. Knowledge and the right precautions can protect families, homes and finances.
"I've seen the devastation that can occur from floods. They can happen at any time, anywhere across the United States, which means we all need to be prepared now," said FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate. "In addition to obtaining a flood insurance policy for your home or business, there are simple steps folks can do now to be prepared for flooding - develop a family emergency plan and have an emergency supply kit ready to go."
Floods are the most common hazard in the United States. However, not all floods are alike. Floods typically occur when too much rain falls or snow melts too quickly. Chunks of ice from a thawing river can block its normal flow and force water out of its banks. While some floods develop slowly, flash floods develop suddenly. Hurricanes can bring flooding to areas far inland from where they first hit the coast, as we witnessed two years ago from the devastating impacts of Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee, and last year from Hurricanes Isaac and Sandy.
There are simple steps citizens can take today to reduce their risk to all types of floods. Flood Safety Awareness Week is an excellent time for people and communities to learn about their flood risk and implement precautions to mitigate the threat to life and property.
"Flooding is dangerous and costly, killing nearly 100 people and causing an average of eight billion dollars in property damage in the United States each year," said Dr. Louis W. Uccellini, director, NOAA's National Weather Service, which produces an array of flood outlooks and forecasts, including watches and life-saving warnings. "A weather-ready nation is a prepared nation; one that will reduce flood losses by planning ahead, staying abreast of weather forecasts, and heeding the warnings."
Dr. Uccellini emphasized that a primary flood killer is flooded roadways. People should never attempt to drive through them, but should "Turn Around, Don't Drown," NOAA's flood safety slogan.
NOAA will issue the 2014 U.S. Spring Outlook and flood assessment on March 20.
FEMA and NOAA will provide the public with key information related to flood hazards, and ways to protect yourself and your property each day of National Flood Safety Awareness week.
Follow FEMA on social media (Facebook and Twitter) throughout the week to stay informed and to share the information with your social networks. For more information on flood safety tips and information, visit www.ready.gov. For information on how to obtain a flood insurance policy, visit www.floodsmart.gov.
FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.
NOAA's mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth's environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources. Join us on Facebook, Twitter and our other social media channels.
Topics covered on this web page include:
Flood Safety and Flood Awareness
The NWS...along with government and private sector partners... inform communities across the United States on how to become aware of flood risks and react properly when a flood threatens. Knowing what to do before...during and after a flood can save lives and reduce injuries and property damage.
Types of Floods...Droughts and Related Phenomena
From floods to droughts...hydrologic extremes often plague our vast nation. Tropical cyclone inland flooding... snowmelt flooding...ice jams...and debris flows are just some of the flood related phenomena posing a threat to Americans.
Turn Around...Don't Drown
People often underestimate the force of water. More than half of all flood-related deaths occur when vehicles... including trucks and SUVs...are swept downstream. Many of these drownings are preventable simply by not driving or walking onto flooded roads. Most vehicles lose contact with the road in 6 inches of water and can be swept away in 18-24 inches of water. New Turn Around... Don't Drown warning signs... compliant with the federal highway administration regulations... can now be deployed at locations where the incidence of flooding is high... the onset of flooding is rapid... and where flooding occurs in isolated locations.
Remember... When approaching a flooded roadway...make the right choice... Turn Around...Don't Drown.
Flood Risk and Flood Insurance
Flood losses are not typically covered in homeowner insurance policies. However flood insurance is available to property owners in communities taking part in the federal emergency management agency /FEMA/ national flood insurance program. FEMA/s Floodsmart campaign promotes the idea that every American should know their flood risk and choose the appropriate flood insurance.
Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service
The Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service - AHPS - is the heart of the NWS hydrology program covering everything from floods to droughts. AHPS extends the range and quantifies the certainty of NWS river forecasts and provides timely... user friendly text and graphical products... including flood mapping. These maps allow a user to see the extent of flooding at a glance on the internet.