Monday, March 15, 2010

National Flood Safety Awareness Week

The third week of March [this year, March 15-19] is designated by NOAA and the National Weather Service as National Flood Safety Awareness Week – a time where communities come together to alert people of one of nature’s deadliest forces! In doing so we highlight some of the many ways floods can occur, the hazards associated with floods, and what you can do to save life and property.

Flooding is a coast to coast threat to the United States and its territories in all months of the year, and each year flooding causes more damage in the United States than any other severe weather related event – an average of $5 billion. Since people generally underestimate the force and power of water, floods are also blamed for more deaths than any other severe weather related hazard. More than half of all flood related deaths result from vehicles being swept downstream. Of these, many are preventable.

Turn Around Don't Drown™!
This year, as part of its ongoing
Turn Around Don't Drown™ (TADD) campaign to save lives as a result of flooding, NOAA and the National Weather Service are continuing to warn people of the hazards of walking or driving a vehicle through flood waters.

Whether it’s from heavy rainfall, tropical cyclone storm surge, heavy snow melt, swollen rivers and streams, ice jams or debris flows, follow these important safety rules if you’re ever confronted with a flood or flood threat:
  • Monitor the NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards, or your favorite news source for vital weather related information.
  • If flooding occurs, get to higher ground. Get out of areas subject to flooding. This includes dips, low spots, canyons, washes 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.

Check out these TADD success stories, including Awareness Week news from around the country!