April showers bring May flowers, and those showers can also bring something less lovely: floods. The longer days and warmer weather of spring come at a price, as volatile weather can increase the risk of flooding.
The National Weather Service, Indiana State Police, Indiana Department of Transportation, and Indiana Department of Homeland Security are encouraging Hoosiers to get ready for potential flooding during Flood Safety Awareness Week, March 18-22.
Individuals and families can prepare for flooding in a variety of ways, and to that end, the Indiana Department of Homeland Security is encouraging all Hoosiers to develop a family emergency communications plan and to gather together a disaster preparedness kit, which includes essential items necessary to sustain a family for at least three days. In the family communications plan, an out-of-state contact and meeting places should be included in case the family becomes separated.
Purchasing flood insurance is one of the most cost-effective steps homeowners can take to protect their homes, making FEMA’s FloodSmart website an important tool in estimated the cost of damages from various amounts of flood water in a home.
A bit of easy preventative yard work can also go a long way in minimizing the effects of flooding in your neighborhood. INDOT encourages citizens to help clear brush and other debris from nearby storm water drains to prevent clogging or blocking the systems.
According to the National Weather Service, most flood-related deaths occur while driving so Indiana State Police are urging Hoosiers to not drive around barricades at water crossings. Doing so endangers not just the occupants of the vehicles, but also the first responders who must come to the aid of those stranded.
For more flood safety tips, visit GetPrepared.in.gov and www.floodsafety.noaa.gov.