If this year’s rainy season is anything like last year’s, the threat of floods in California is a real concern. To prepare, California Flood Preparedness Week, October 21–28, can help inform you on your flood risk and any necessary safety measures you should take.
According to the Department of Water Resources (DWR), flooding is the deadliest and most expensive natural disaster, and it can happen at any time. During Flood Preparedness Week, DWR, in collaboration with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and other federal, state, and local agencies, will help educate the public through outreach events, meetings, and fairs. For a schedule of the events, visit the Flood Preparedness Week website at www.floodprepareCA.com.
Among other topics, the following information will be be covered during the week’s events:
- Assess your flood risk. You can visit the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services’ MyHazards web page at myhazards.caloes.ca.gov and enter in your address to see what natural disaster hazards you may be at risk for.
- If you do live in a flood-prone area, consider buying flood insurance. Most homeowners’ insurance doesn’t cover flood damage; be aware that there is a 30-day wait period for the policy to take effect.
- Make sure to develop a family emergency and evacuation plan, and discuss it with all members of your household.
- Have copies of important documents—such as Social Security cards, passports, birth certificates, and insurance policies—kept in a safe and dry place.
- Put together emergency supply kits and keep one at home, at work, and in your vehicle. The kits should keep essential supplies—enough for at least three days—including medications, water, food for yourself and any pets, batteries, flashlights, and first aid items. For more tips regarding emergency kits, visit the Department of Homeland Security’s website at ready.gov/build-a-kit.
- If flooding occurs, get to higher ground and stay away from flood-prone areas.
- If you’re caught in a flood while driving, do not drive through flood waters. More people are trapped and die in their cars than anywhere else in a flood, according to DWR.
For more information on flood preparation and safety, attend one or more of the Flood Preparedness Week events and visit DWR’s website at www.floodprepareCA.com. If you have questions, contact DWR at firstname.lastname@example.org.