Flooding

  • Safety Line Features FirstAidMart.com

    We are pleased to have been featured in Phoenix Contact's Spring SafetyLine edition.   Safety Line is a A Phoenix Contact publication on safety and related issues distributed to employees their approximately 12,900 employees in 50 international subsidiaries. The newsletter is
    to help their employees  at work and at home.

    Their publication of "An unpredictable spring" featured our articles on

    Thunderstorms 
    Tornadoes
    Flooding
    Wildfires

    AND they recommended our First Aid Kits.SafetyLine

    Phoenix Contact manufactures industrial automation, interconnection, and interface solutions. Founded in 1923 in Essen, Germany, Phoenix Contact developed the first modular terminal block.

  • Moving to Higher Ground

    It is amazing how many people ignore warnings and directions that are provided for their own safety - often to risk their lives in order to protect some replaceable materials goods.harris

    During Memorial Day weekend in 2015, flood warnings were issued in many parts of Texas as record amounts of torrential rains were unleashed on already saturated grounds. Many residents in harm’s way had to flee their homes and seek temporary shelter, while hundreds of other homeowners previously in the high-risk flood plain were no longer threatened.

    harris 2They had been able to move from homes previously subject to repetitive flooding thanks to the Harris County Flood Control District’s (HCFCD) Voluntary Buyout Program. Buyouts, also called acquisition and relocation projects, allow residents to voluntarily sell their repetitive loss properties to the county and receive fair market value before disaster strikes again. The houses are cleared from the floodplain, which is returned to its natural state.

    “Nearly 550 homes would have flooded during the May event had they not been purchased via the District’s Voluntary Home Buyout program,” said HCFCD Acquisition Program Manager James Wade. “Approximately $12.4 million in flood damages were avoided as a result of these 550 buyouts.”

    The acquired homes were located within the high-risk floodplain and subject to repetitive flooding. Structures in this situation were typically built years before detailed maps and studies were available and floodplain management regulations adopted by the county and cities.

    The initial start of the program was in 1985, although federal funds were not granted until the early nineties. The state and federal partnership began in 1995.

    Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) buyouts or acquisition projects are administered by the state. The federal portion of the cost is 75 percent and the non-federal share is 25 percent. To be eligible, the participating property must be located in a community that participates in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), and has a FEMA-approved Hazard Mitigation Plan.  Additionally, the property must be within a mapped special flood hazard area, subject to repetitive flooding and the purchase must be cost beneficial.

    Since 1995, more than 2,000 structures have been purchased. About 1,100 properties were funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s HMGP and more than 900 homes were acquired with district funds. An additional 30 structures were purchased by the United States Army Corps of Engineers.

    The application process took one to two years from the date application was submitted before a determination was made concerning eligibility. Since the buyouts occurred, the area is now deed restricted and cannot be developed with permanent structures in the future.

    A major benefit was that the buyout program enabled affected families to relocate to higher ground. The safety risk for homeowners, as well as first responders, was eliminated. The buyouts saved the government money because flood insurance payments and federal assistance payments were reduced. After the homes were purchased and demolished, the floodplain was restored to its natural and beneficial function for storm water storage.  Finally, open spaces were available for use as community amenities, such as parks, gardens and playing fields.

    The Harris County voluntary buyout program was a win-win situation to everyone involved.

    For additional information visit: https://www.hcfcd.org/our-programs/property-acquisition-program/voluntary-acquisition/voluntary-home-buyout/

  • Wet?

    During this first week of National Preparedness Month, the focus for preparedness across the land is flooding and flood safety. Are you prepared for high water? How much do you know about flooding? It's not just a coastal issue...

    Flood_6

  • While spring and its threats are still with us, meteorological summer is already here.

    Turn Around Don't Drown®

    Each year, more deaths occur due to flooding than from any other thunderstorm related hazard. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that over half of all flood-related drownings occur when a vehicle is driven into hazardous flood water. The next highest percentage of flood-related deaths is due to walking into or near flood waters.

    People underestimate the force and power of water. Many of the deaths occur in automobiles as they are swept downstream. Of these drownings, many are preventable, but too many people continue to drive around the barriers that warn you the road is flooded. A mere 6 inches of fast-moving flood water can knock over an adult. It takes just 12 inches of rushing water to carry away a small car, while 2 feet of rushing water can carry away most vehicles. It is NEVER safe to drive or walk into flood waters.

    Never Drive or Walk into Flood Waters - Turn Around Don’t Drown!

    Flooding is one of the leading causes of weather related fatalities in the U.S. On average, flooding claims nearly 90 lives each year. More than half of these deaths occur in motor vehicles when people attempt to drive through flooded roadways. This happens because people underestimate the force and power of water, especially when it is moving.

    Just six inches of fast-moving water can knock over and carry off an adult. Twelve inches of water can float a small car. If that water is moving, it can carry that car away. Eighteen to twenty-four inches of flowing water can carry away most vehicles, including large SUVs. It is impossible to tell the exact depth of water covering a roadway or the condition of the road below the water. This is especially true at night when your vision is more limited. It is never safe to drive or walk through flood waters. Any time you come to a flooded road, walkway, or path, follow this simple rule: Turn Around Don’t Drown.

  • Flood Risk can be highest now as we approach Summer

    Did you know that more flooding can happen now at the end of Spring than at the beginning? It's true. Why not get Flood safety training for your group if you are at the coast or near a body of water?

    Nine Dangers at the Beach – Rip Currents | Shorebreak | Lightning | Tsunamis | Sharks | Jellyfish | Heat and Sunburn | Harmful Algal Blooms | Water Quality

    Coastal Flood Risk Reduction
    Course Title: Coastal Flood Risk Reduction (PER-305 )
    Status: FEMA Certified. This course is now listed in the FEMA National Training and Education Division (NTED) Catalog.
    Description: In 2011, half of the major disaster declarations were due in whole or in part to flooding. Communities are able adopt a variety of corrective and preventive measures to reduce flood damage.

    This course incorporates flood plain management practices, and participants will learn about the traditional structural and nonstructural mitigation approaches to reduce risk, strengthen opportunities, and increase resilience. The course will provide an overview of the flooding risks to coastal built and natural environments, in addition to introducing capabilities (approaches and tools) that can support coastal prevention/mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery.

    Course Modules include:

    • The Coast, People, and Resilience
    • Risk/Opportunities
    • Coastal Process
    • Coastal Built Environments (Risks & Opportunities
    • Capabilities (Approaches and Tools)
    • Strategies and Administration

    If you are on the water this Spring and Summer - know the risks, and how to avoid them, too.

    Prerequisites: Participants should comprehend basic map-reading, including orientation, interpretation of a legend, location of potential projects on the map, interpretion of distances, and extrapolation of three-dimensional features from a two-dimensional map.
    Requirements: None
    Provider: UH-NDPTC
    Delivery Method: Instructor Led. If you are interested in having this course delivered in your area, please contact your State Administrative Agency (SAA) through the FEMA Emergency Management System. Step-by-step instructions are available at: https://www.firstrespondertraining.gov
  • Rubbish

    With Spring Rains, flooding can happen easily - and not just from waters breaching riverbanks, or dams overflowing.

    You can help avoid flooding by keeping waterways clear.

    1. Sweep regularly.
      Pick up trash, leaves, grass clippings and other debris that collects around the storm drains and curb gutters near your home. Loose materials can clog storm drains and increase the potential for flooding in your neighborhood.
    2. Keep a lid on it.
      Make sure all outdoor garbage cans stay tightly covered. Rain water washes trash and debris into storm drains which flow untreated to our beaches and bays.
    3. Keep it Clean.
      Pick up after your pets — rain water can wash pet waste into our storm drains causing bacterial contamination. Keep your car in good repair - automotive fluids that leak onto our streets are a leading cause of pollution in our rivers, bays and ocean front.
    4. Stay covered.
      Properly store and contain outdoor materials so trash, fluids and debris don’t leave your property.
    5. Stay safe.
      Use caution and slow down on roads and freeways. Be aware of road conditions and avoid driving through standing or moving water. If you live in an area that has experienced flooding in the past, be sure that important items like keepsakes, tools and equipment are stored off the floor. Once rains begin, avoid low lying roadways and find alternate routes around areas like Mission Valley and the beach area communities prone to temporary flooding.

    Rain needs to be able to flow freely into storm drain inlets and away from neighborhoods. Following these simple steps helps to reduce the risk of flooding near your home and keeps waterways clean.litter-mission-rd-bridge-1

  • Everyone lives in a flood zone

    Did you know that? It is true!

    According to FloodSmart.gov, everyone everywhere is in a flood zone. In the last 5 years, all 50 states have experienced floods or flash floods.

    What are flood zones?

    FloodSmartFlood zones are land areas identified by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Each flood zone describes that land area in terms of its risk of flooding. Everyone lives in a flood zone–it's just a question of whether you live in a low, moderate, or high risk area.

     

    • Just a few inches of water from a flood can cause tens of thousands of dollars in damage.
    • Flash floods often bring walls of water 10 to 20 feet high.
    • A car can easily be carried away by just two feet of floodwater.
    • Hurricanes, winter storms and snowmelt are common (but often overlooked) causes of flooding.
    • New land development can increase flood risk, especially if the construction changes natural runoff paths.
    • Read more about Floods

    Disaster, Survival, Preparation

    Survival Gear: Disaster, Emergency Preparedness, Camping & Survival Supply
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    Disaster, Survival, & Preparation!
    Think about preparedness; at home, at work, at school, even in your car.
    What should you do? Check your Emergency Plan and Evacuation Routes everywhere you normally spend time. Make sure you have an out of State contact for you, your friends and your family (long distance phone service is usually restored before local - and mobile services and internet will likely not work in a major disaster.)
    Of course, you should Check your Emergency Supplies, too:

    • Count your stock... is it enough?
    • Check your expiration dates (food, water, batteries)
    • Keep cash on hand
    • Don't let your gas tank get below half-full
    • Think-Plan-Prepare-Survive!

     

  • Severe Weather Preparedness Week: Floods

    Flooding still remains the most costly natural hazard disaster in the United States. But did you know that flood losses are not typically covered under renter and homeowner insurance policies? With flooding causing nearly $24 billion in damages within the last 10 years, ensuring that your family is capable of bouncing back from a flood should be a very real concern.

    Less than twenty days after Illinois homeowner Rich Smith closed on his house located by a creek, it flooded. Weeks after moving in, Rich's new home was completely under water and he lost nearly everything. Thankfully, Rich was prompted by his banker to get flood insurance and was able to quickly rebuild.

    Watch Rich's story below 

    Why should I have flood insurance?  Doesn’t my homeowners or commercial property insurance already cover flood damage?

    Most homeowners and commercial property insurance policies do not cover flood damage.  Floods are the #1 natural disaster in the United States however.  They are more common than tornadoes, earthquakes and fires.  They have caused nearly $24 billion in U.S. flood losses in the last 10 years.  There is a 26% chance of experiencing a flood during the life of a 30-year mortgage in high-risk areas. If your home or business is in a high-risk area, it is more than twice as likely to experience a flood than a fire.

    What about flood related disaster assistance?  Why not just use that assistance instead of having flood insurance?

    When flooding causes extensive and widespread damage, the Governor or President may make a disaster proclamation.  These proclamations can make disaster-related money assistance available to affected property owners.  It is important to know that this disaster assistance is typically not a grant or forgivable loan however.  Instead, it is typically a loan that you must repay with interest.  For a $50,000 loan at 4% interest, your monthly payment would be around $240 a month (i.e., $2,880 a year) for 30 years.  Compare that to the premium for a $100,000 flood insurance policy, which is around $400 a year ($33 a month).

    Why not just wait to purchase flood insurance until the flood is a few days away?

    It takes 30 days after purchase for a policy to take effect, so it is important to buy insurance before the floodwaters start to rise. Aside from snow melt floods, most floods occur with much less than 30 days advance notice.

    An exception to the 30 day waiting period is when flood insurance is required as part of a mortgage. Flood insurance is mandatory if your property is in a high-risk area or a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) and you have a Federally-backed mortgage.

    Is flood insurance available only for my home?

    No. You can purchase flood insurance for both residential and commercial coverage.

    Is flood insurance available only for locations in the flood plain?

    No. You can purchase flood insurance for nearly any location, whether or not it is in a flood plain. Everyone lives in a flood zone but some areas are at a higher risk of flooding than others. It is good to buy flood insurance for properties outside the flood plain. Nearly 25% of all flood insurance claims come from moderate-to low-risk areas (i.e., outside the flood plain).

    I am in a low-risk area for flooding. This risk will never change over time, right?

    Not necessarily. The risk of flooding at the same location may increase or decrease over time. New land development can increase flood risk.  Increases in precipitation amounts may also increase the flood risk. So just because you are in a low-risk area now does not necessarily mean that your risk of flooding will stay that way. You may be in a moderate-to high-risk area later.

    So if I can purchase flood insurance for nearly any location, are there any other limitations?

    Yes. You can purchase flood insurance only if your community participates in the NFIP. You can find a list of communities that participate in the NFIP on the FEMA Web site at:

    http://www.fema.gov/fema/csb.shtm

    What if my community does not participate in the NFIP?

    Your community must be an active participant in the NFIP in order for you to purchase flood insurance. According to FEMA, a community must submit an Application for Participating in the National Flood Insurance Program - FF 81-64.

    You can find more information on NFIP application procedures, including contacts on the FEMA Web site at:

    http://www.fema.gov/plan/prevent/floodplain/

    How much does flood insurance cost?

    Flood insurance premiums take into account the risk of flooding as well as the amount of coverage you desire. If you live in a moderate - to low-risk area and are eligible for the Preferred Risk Policy, your flood insurance premium may be as low as $119 a year, including coverage for your property’s contents. The average flood insurance policy costs less than $570 per year.

    To find your flood risk and estimate your flood insurance premium, use the One-Step Flood Risk Profile on the left hand side of the FloodSmart.gov Web page.

    Where exactly do I go to purchase flood insurance?

    In most cases, you can purchase flood insurance through those insurance agents who have agreed to work with the NFIP.  They may or may not be the insurance agent you presently use for homeowners or commercial property insurance.  You can find a list of flood insurance agents near you on the NFIP Web site.

    Make sure you know the coverage and limitations of flood insurance before you buy.

    Before you purchase a flood insurance policy, it is important to review what is covered and what is not covered by flood insurance. You should also compare the coverage and exclusions of both flood insurance and your existing homeowners or commercial property insurance. Make sure you understand what would be covered and what would not be covered if a flood does impact your property. See your flood insurance agent for details.

    For more information:

    You can find more information on the NFIP at the FloodSmart Web site. You can also use the OneStep Flood Risk Profile on the left hand side of the page to find your flood risk and estimate your flood insurance premium.

    Facts and figures came from the FloodSmart.gov Web site

    Prepare! Prepare!
  • Severe Storms, Tornadoes, and Flooding - Disasters Abound - Be Ready.

    Are you Expecting the Unexpected?

    Are you READY? Many aren't - here are some recent unexpected events and the devastation that ensued...

    October 1, 2013
    News Release
    Following is a summary of key federal disaster aid programs that can be made available as needed and warranted under President Obama's disaster declaration issued for Pennsylvania.Assistance for the Commonwealth and Affected Local Governments Can Include as Required:
    October 1, 2013
    News Release
    WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency announced that federal disaster aid has been made available to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to supplement commonwealth and local recovery efforts in the area affected by severe storms, tornadoes, and flooding during the period of June 26 to July 11, 2013.
    September 30, 2013
    News Release
    Following is a summary of key federal disaster aid programs that can be made available as needed and warranted under President Obama's disaster declaration issued for the State of New Mexico.Assistance for the State and Affected Local and Tribal Governments Can Include as Required:
    September 30, 2013
    News Release
    WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency announced that federal disaster aid has been made available to the State of New Mexico to supplement state, local and tribal recovery efforts in the area affected by severe storms and flooding during the period of July 23-28, 2013.
    September 13, 2013
    News Release
    Following is a summary of key federal disaster aid programs that can be made available as needed and warranted under President Obama's emergency disaster declaration issued for the State of Colorado.Assistance for the State and Affected Local Governments Can Include as Required:
    September 13, 2013
    News Release
    WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced that federal emergency aid has been made available to the State of Colorado to supplement state and local response efforts due to the emergency conditions resulting from severe storms, flooding, landslides, and mudslides beginning on September 11, 2013, and continuing threats
    Are you ready to Bug Out? Are you ready to Bug Out?
  • Flooding and Destruction

    Flooding - it's a Disaster often not considered... many areas prepare for Hurricane, Earthquake, Tornado, Tsunami, but a Flood can happen during high rains, or even on a clear sunny day if a Dam gives way or a Levy breaks...

    Floods are one of the most common hazards in the U.S. They can be local, impacting a neighborhood or very large, affecting multiple states. Thousands of residents in Boulder, CO and nearby towns were recently forced to evacuate after days of heavy rainfall caused mudslides and flash floods. If a flood is developing in your area, would you know what to do?  Here are some tips before the flood hits:

    • ShovelConduct a household inventory;
    • Build an emergency supply kit;
    • Plan for evacuation; and
    • Make a pet plan.

    If a flood has already hit your community, follow these tips:

    • Beware of hazards in your home;
    • File your flood insurance claim; and
    • Take proper steps to clean up your home.

    The Federal Alliance for Safe Homes also offers valuable information to help prepare for and recover from a flood.   Download the FLASH Weather Alerts mobile app today for weather warnings, alerts and tips to keep your family safe.

    Disaster, Survival, Preparation

    Disaster, Survival, & Preparation!
    Think about preparedness; at home, at work, at school, even in your car.
    What should you do? Check your Emergency Plan and Evacuation Routes everywhere you normally spend time. Make sure you have an out of State contact for you, your friends and your family (long distance phone service is usually restored before local - and mobile services and internet will likely not work in a major disaster.)
    Of course, too, you should Check your Emergency Supplies:

    • Count your stock... is it enough?
    • Check your expiration dates (food, water, batteries)
    • Keep cash on hand
    • Don't let your gas tank get below half-full
    • Think-Plan-Prepare-Survive!

    Survival Gear: Disaster, Emergency Preparedness, Camping & Survival Supply
    72 Hour Emergency Preparedness Supplies for Earthquake, Hurricane, Tornado, Twister, Nuclear Disasters, Wilderness Survival & More… C.E.R.T. & F.E.M.A.

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