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FEMA Encourages Flood Safety Awareness

​March 14, 2011

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. -- Floods are the most frequent and costly natural disaster in the United States. Flood effects can be local, impacting a neighborhood or community, or very large, affecting entire river basins and multiple states.

FEMA Region III encourages citizens in Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland and the District of Columbia to know their flood hazards. National Flood Safety Awareness Week (March 14-18) is intended to highlight some of the many ways floods can occur, the hazards associated with floods, and what you can do to save lives and preserve property.

To help individuals better understand flood risks nationwide as well as empower them to take steps that mitigate damaging floods, FEMA has created a one-stop flood awareness information tool available at www.ready.gov/floodawareness. This flood fact-focused site contains valuable tips on what to do before, during and after a flood, and encourages flood insurance protection among other measures.

"It's incumbent upon families and businesses to act now, plan ahead and prepare for flooding events that can potentially affect their communities," said FEMA Region III Administrator MaryAnn Tierney.

Floods do more than damage properties; they can also threaten lives if careful safety precautions are not followed. Therefore, know your community's flood risk, flood history and overall community action plan to address flooding events before, during and after they occur.

"Develop a strong family emergency plan and reach out to your community's best flood planning resource—the local emergency management office. This approach is a great way to protect your family and property while learning, lending input, and assisting your first responders," said Tierney.

FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.