As I write this, a Small Stream Flood Advisory has been issued for southern Erie, western Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties until 1:45pm today (Thursday). Spring brings so many good things, but it also brings the potential for flooding, and the time to prepare is now.
This is Flood Safety Awareness Week, and we're already seeing an example of why it's important to know the hazards flood waters can bring. The Red Cross is currently working in Louisiana, providing food and shelter to residents in Lafayette and Saint Martin parishes, where several people had to be rescued when their vehicles became trapped in high waters.
While flooding can happen anywhere at any time, with the shorelines for Lakes Erie and Ontario, the Niagara and Buffalo Rivers and numerous creeks and streams, it's a regular occurrence in this area. Therefore, it's important we keep in mind the dangers flood waters can cause. Did you know that just six inches of fast-moving water can sweep a person off their feet? Or that most cars can be swept away by less than two feet of moving water?
During this flood safety awareness week, take a moment to make sure you and your family are prepared should the waters begin rising in your neighborhood. This Be Red Cross Ready checklist will help you, and you can learn more tips by scheduling a free disaster preparedness education program at your school, business or organization by calling (716) 878-2230.