The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) along with the Federal Emergency Management Agency are sponsoring what they are calling “National Flood Safety Awareness Week” from March 15 to 19. For an overview on flooding, we recommend reading Flooding For Rookies.
Flooding can happen in any part of the United States, any time of the year, and, according to FEMA Acting Regional Administrator Dennis Hunsinger, is the number one natural disaster in the country.
“We learn time and time again that you just don’t need to live in a mapped floodplain to need flood insurance, and it just doesn’t pay to quibble over what side of a line on a flood map one lives on,” Hunsinger said. “The fact is— twenty to 25 percent of all flood insurance claims are filed in low-to-moderate flood-risk areas where flood insurance premiums can be a real bargain.”
In low flood areas, premiums can be less that $150 a year. Average price for flood insurance in the US is $563 a year. Those interested can check out the National Flood Insurance Program official site for more information about buying flood insurance.
In a press release issued this weak FEMA, the organization implored Americans to making their homes less risk adverse to floods was neither difficult or expensive.
“Property owners and renters need to know that they can take steps to protect their property and financial security before disaster strikes,” the press release said. “However, many eligible residents are unaware that they qualify or that affordable flood insurance is available. Residents can begin to take steps now to protect their home and assets from rising floodwaters at any time.”
Turn Around Don’t Drown
“Turn Around Don’t” Drown is the official slogan for National Flood Safety Awareness Week. In particular, it reminds drivers not to take chances when water covers a road ahead. Just because the water looks shallow enough to cross doesn’t always mean it is. An overwhelming majority of flood victims die just that way – driving on a familiar road home covered in water and capsizing their cars.
I would know. It’s happened to me. On the day of my high school graduation…some years ago, I submerged a 1986 Chevy Nova on a freeway and had to swim for my life. It was a rainy day, but nothing too out of the usual, but as water collected on the roads, I didn’t think twice about driving home. When I saw the water ahead on freeway, I kept going, and realized the freeway was on an incline.
Within seconds, water poured inside the car, and all four wheels were off the ground. Never mind the car, it was totaled from water damage. I was scared for my freaking life and soon found myself having to swim through dirty flood water to the shoulder of the road. You can read more about it in Flooding for Rookies, so I won’t go into detail here, but the point is, take water on the road seriously. You don’t know how deep it really is, and it isn’t worth risking your life to find out.
For more about flood safety week, however, you can check out the government’s web page for it.