Thursday, February 17, 2011

Those high waters are starting to look pretty good!

Although we love this warm weather, it doesn't exactly mix well with the snow and ice that has been piling up on our sidewalks, streets and lawns these past few months.  Flood watches and warnings are in full swing across WNY, which means it's a perfect time for all of us to make sure that we brush up on flood safety and also that we have our emergency supply kits ready in case we need to make a quick evacuation.

Flood Safety:
·         Know the lingo!
o   A flood watch means a flood is possible in your area
o   A flood warning means flooding is already occurring or will occur soon in your area
o   A flash flood watch means flash flooding is possible in your area
o   A flash flood warning means a flash flood is occurring or will occur very soon
·         What to do in each?
o   A flood watch
§  Move your furniture and valuables to higher floors of your home
§  Fill your car’s gas tank, in case an evacuation notice is issued
o   A flood warning
§  Listen to local radio and TV stations for information and advice. If told to evacuate, do so as soon as possible
o   A flash flood watch
§  Be alert to signs of flash flooding and be ready to evacuate on a moment’s notice
o   A flash flood warning
              §   If you think flooding has begun, you may have only seconds to escape, act  quickly!
§ Move to higher ground away from rivers, streams, creeks, and storm drains. Do not drive around barricades; they are there for your safety.
§  If your car stalls in rapidly rising waters, abandon it immediately and climb to higher ground.
For more information on how to prepare for a flood, check out the informational pamphlet below!

In your emergency supply kit you should have:
·         At least a 3-day supply of food and water
·         Flashlight
·         Battery-powered or hand-crank radio
·         Extra batteries (be sure to keep all batteries out of electronic devices in your kit)
·         First aid kit and a 7-day supply of medications
·         Baby and pet supplies
·         Personal hygiene items and extra clothing
·         Emergency blanket and rain gear
·         Copies of personal documents (birth certificates, license, insurance policies)
·         Cell phone with chargers
·         Family and emergency contact information
·         Activities to keep you and/or your family occupied

For more information on making an emergency kit, visit us online and learn more about getting a kit, making a plan and being prepared!

Do you have flood insurance?
Floods are the most common natural disaster in the United States, causing nearly $24 billion damage over the last ten years.  However, losses due to flooding are not covered under typical homeowner’s and business insurance policies.  Flood insurance is offered through the National Flood Insurance Program.  Residents are encouraged to call 1.800.427.2419 or visit FEMA for more information on flood insurance.
For tips on making sure you’re covered, check out the pamphlet below!

For more tips on how to be Red Cross Ready for a flood or any other possible disaster, please visit us online, or contact Denise Herkey-Jarosch, Regional Coordinator, NYS Citizens Preparedness Program at 716.878.2231 to set up a presentation.

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