Floods are the most common natural disaster, damaging public health and safety, as well as economic prosperity. Between 1980 and 2013, the United States suffered more than $260 billion in flood-related damages, according to FEMA. Storm surge, and heavy downpours, extensive development and even sea level rise in coastal areas can increase the risk of flooding.
Proactive preparation helps minimize risk for personal safety and property damage during a hurricane or during rising waters due to heavy downpours and sheet flow. Here are some strategies and tips to help with preparation for storms.
<Bookmark>Know Your Flood Hazard
<Bookmark>Insure Your Property for Your Flood Hazard
<Bookmark>Protect People from Flood Hazard
- Stay out of flood waters. They can contain dangerous chemicals from gasoline, oil, industrial and household compounds, and sewage.
- If you see standing water in a road – turn around; don’t drown! Don’t drive or walk through rising water.
- Affirm "Youth Preparedness" for children in your family or schools. A 2010 study from Oregon State University showed that 14 percent of children and teens experienced a disaster during their lifetime, and four percent had been in a disaster within the past year. Contact the FEMA Youth Technical Assistance Center.
- Get hard copies or electronic versions of the All Hazards Guide. The information provided offers guidance for storm preparation, home and property safety, shelter information, the evacuation process and emergency contact numbers.
- Prepare for Hurricanes. Have a plan for emergencies. The time to develop and practice your emergency plan is PRIOR to hurricane season. Click here for more information.
<Bookmark>Protect Your Property from Hazard
<Bookmark>Protect Natural Floodplain Functions
- Don’t build over, dam up or fill natural flow ways, ditches or other surface water conveyances.
- Don’t dump in storm drains.
- Report broken silt fences – the temporary barriers set up around construction areas.
- Report debris or vegetation blocking swales, ditches, canals or other surface water conveyances by calling the Request for Action Hotline at 239-533-9400 or filling out the Request for Action Form online.
Flood Mapping Quick Links