No stranger to severe weather, the Fort Bend County Office of Emergency Management has learned a few things about flood safety. This whole folder is full of flood safety information, here are some highlights:
Turn Around, Don't Drown!
Since 1960 over 600 people have been killed by floods in the State of Texas alone, with 65% of those deaths in vehicles. There are two main threats when driving though standing water; first, you can't see what's below the surface of the water. When the water is over curbs you are especially at risk. Not only may the road be washed away under the muddy water, you might not even be able to tell where the normal road ends and the ditch begins. Second, water can wash your car away. Just six inches of slowly moving water is enough to float and carry most cars, even SUVs. Once your car starts floating, you will be carried to lower ground with the water, unless you hit an obstacle first.
The safest thing you can do when you see water over a roadway is to turn around. The few minutes it takes to find another route are worth your life and potential property damage.
Flood Water Can Make you Sick
When heavy rains case creeks, rivers, bayous and streets to overflow, it's not just rain water they carry into your neighborhood! Flood waters can carry diarrheal diseases, infectious diseases, industrial chemicals, insects and animals into areas they flow. Stay out of the flood water! The Centers for Disease Control have excellent information on how to stay healthy during a flood.
Flood Insurance is Important
Several of us in the office know friends and family members who have suffered loss from flooding. Even loved ones in 200-year flood zones have been affected. When your home floods, you lose nearly everything touched by the waters, many times even your walls have to be partially torn out and replaced. Just a few inches of water from a flood can cause tens of thousands of dollars in damage. Over the past 10 years, the average flood claim has amounted to nearly $48,000. Flood insurance is the best way to protect yourself from devastating financial loss.
Red Cross Flood Safety Checklist ( PDF Document - 79.95 KB)
Flood Safety Awareness Week ( External Link)
Flooding is a coast to coast threat to the United States and its territories in all months of the year. National Flood Safety Awareness Week is intended to highlight some of the many ways floods can occur, the hazards associated with floods, and what you can do to save life and property.
FloodSafety.org ( External Link)
FEMA Tips for Filing an Insurance Claim ( External Link)
Turn Around, Don't Drown ( External Link)
CDC Flood Water After a Disaster or Emergency ( External Link)
FloodSmart.gov ( External Link)