Be Aware of Flood Hazard

by Charles Holland, County Engagement Specialist with the University of Missouri Extension-Monroe County

This has been a winter to remember. As we look to spring, we need to think of all the possibilities that come with the change in weather. I am talking about storms and flooding. Floods are one of the most common hazards in the United States, however not all floods are alike. Some floods develop slowly, while others such a flash flood can develop in just a few minutes. Even if you feel you are in an area with a low risk of flooding, remember, anywhere it rains, it can flood. Just because it has not flooded does not mean it won’t. FEMA wants citizens to know the flooding is based on a number of factors including rainfall, topography, flood-control measures, river-flow and changes due to new construction and development. The best way to check your location is to consult the flood hazard map at www.ready.gov or www.fema.gov

If a flood is likely in your area, you should be aware that flash flooding can occur. If there is any possibility of a flash flood, move immediately to higher ground. Do not wait for instructions to move. Listen to the radio or television for information. Be aware of streams, drainage channels, canyons and other areas known to flood suddenly. Flash floods can occur in these areas with or without typical warnings such as rain clouds or heavy rain. If you must prepare to evacuate, you should secure your home or business. If you have time, bring outdoor items in and move essential items to an upper floor. Turn off utilities at the main switches or valves and disconnect electrical appliances. Do not touch electrical equipment if you are wet or standing in water.

Flood insurance is the best way to protect you from devastating financial loss. Find the flood risk for your business now using our One-Step Flood Risk Profile provided by FEMA. Other resources for both home and business can be located at your local Extension office or by visiting www.extension.missouri.edu. Your local Extension has many guides, articles, resources and how to guides for disaster planning to clean up. Remember it is best to be prepared.

This article was written by Charles Holland, County Engagement Specialist with the University of Missouri Extension-Monroe County. Charles can be reached at (660)327-4158 or hollandca@missouri.edu .