Spring Flooding Safety Tips

Posted at 1:30 p.m.

When spring hits, whether it’s “official” — the first day of Spring is Monday, March 20 — or just feels like spring, many of us are eager to get out of the office and into the fresh air.

And while spring brings warmer temperatures, it also can bring heavy rain. But until the ground thaws, melting snow — which we haven’t had a lot of this winter — and rain cannot be absorbed into the earth. Spring storms can bring several inches of precipitation in just hours or can stall out over an area for days. These heavy rains can lead to severe flooding by oversaturating the ground, overfilling storm drains or causing rivers or lakes to spill over their banks or levees.

Floods are the most common and costly natural disaster in the United States.

Here are some things to keep in mind as the spring flood season draws near.

  • Never drive or walk through flooded streets. It only takes six inches of moving water to sweep a person off their feet (and not in the romantic way) and 12 inches to move a car. Remember, if a street is flooded, Turn Around; Don’t Drown.
  • Floods are expensive. A few inches of water in a 1,000-square foot home could cost more than $10,000 in repairs and replacement of personal possessions.
  • Most insurance does not cover flood damage. Only flood insurance will cover the damage from floods. Speak with your insurance agent to learn more and remember flood insurance takes 30 days to take effect, so purchase now to protect your family.
  • Talk with your family and make an emergency plan for you and your pets. No matter the disaster, it’s always a good idea to have emergency supplies ready at home, at work, and in the car.

You can learn more about the dangers of flooding and find information about flood insurance at www.Ready.gov/floods and www.Floodsmart.gov.

the cost of flood insurance versus flood damage

Reprinted from FEMA’s Ready campaign

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Official emergency information about preparedness, response and recovery from Fairfax County Government.