March 18-22 is National Flood Safety Awareness Week

Posted at 3:20 p.m.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) are partnering to improve awareness for National Flood Safety Awareness Week this week, March 18-22. The goal is to improve understanding about flood risk among individuals, families, businesses and communities. Knowledge and the right precautions can protect families, homes and finances.

Floods are the most common hazard in the United States. However, not all floods are alike. Floods typically occur when too much rain falls or snow melts too quickly. Chunks of ice from a thawing river can block its normal flow and force water out of its banks.

While some floods develop slowly, flash floods develop suddenly. Hurricanes can bring flooding to areas far inland from where they first hit the coast, as we witnessed two years ago from the devastating impacts of Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee, and last year from Hurricane Sandy.

turn around don't drownThere are simple steps you can take today to reduce the risk to all types of floods.  Most importantly, never attempt to drive through roadways covered with water; remember “Turn Around, Don’t Drown.” Check this list of roads in Fairfax County that have flooded.

For more information on flood safety tips and information, visit ready.gov/floods or the Spanish-language website listo.gov. For information on how to obtain a flood insurance policy, visit floodsmart.gov.

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