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How Can Your Family Prepare For Spring Flooding?

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flood emergency preparedness kit plan

With flooding one of the most common hazards for families across the United States, it is important to have an emergency preparedness plan in place and know flood risks in your area.

The season of spring brings rain storms, thawing snow and with it the chance of flooding in many regions of the United States, sometimes the floods develop rather slow – while other times a flash flood can develop in a matter of minutes, even without sign of rain in the area visible to you. Flooding is mostly caused by natural factors such as increased rainfall; however, it can also be caused by the failure of a man made dam or levee on it’s own, or a combination of both in some instances. During the spring, frozen land prevents melting snow or rainfall from seeping into the ground. Each cubic foot of compacted snow contains gallons of water and once the snow melts, it can result in the overflow of streams, rivers, and lakes. Add spring storms to that and the result is often serious spring flooding.

What are ways that your family can prepare for a flood?

  • Purchase flood insurance.
  • Build or purchase a family emergency preparedness kit and make a family communications plan.
  • Avoid building in a floodplain unless you elevate and reinforce your home.
  • Elevate the furnace, water heater and electric panel in your home if you live in an area that has a high flood risk.
  • Consider installing “check valves” to prevent flood water from backing up into the drains of your home.
  • If feasible, construct barriers to stop floodwater from entering the building and seal walls in basements with waterproofing compounds.

It is important that your family is completely aware of the surroundings where you live and any flood hazards from water bodies, flash flooding or man made threats such as being below a dam; with the aging infrastructure in the United States, many dam’s are past their usable life and pose huge – mostly unknown threats to many regions, if you live near a dam it is worth researching the history of the dam and if it was due for replacement years ago as is the case in so many areas throughout the country. A good way of finding specific threats of spring flooding in your area will be Flood-hazard maps, which are available from FEMA and other government agencies, including many local governments in flood prone areas.