Be flood-ready before storms hit

Oct 02, 2013

Do you know how to protect your home and family from flooding?

With fall weather quickly approaching, and heavy rains expected soon, Snohomish County Executive John Lovick encourages residents to plan ahead.

While the county will recognize Oct. 20 – 26 as Flood Preparedness Week, residents should use that as a target date to stock up on supplies and track down resources to help them stay safe and minimize damage if flooding occurs.

“It’s essential that residents prepare their homes and families before a flood hits,” Lovick said. “It’s especially important for parents to make and share an emergency plan with their children in case schools, care centers or roads are closed by flooding.”

Snohomish County has a history of flooding, and the effects of long periods of heavy rains on rivers, roads, bridges and neighborhoods are well known. Urban flooding can be just as serious as overtopping rivers, meaning every resident and homeowner should prepare, not just those living by water.

The county’s Flood Information Center, found online at www.snoco.org, is the best source for flood information before, during and after a flood.

There, residents can find copies of the county’s Flood Guide, and links to the Flood Warning System and an interactive Emergency Road Closure map.

Residents should also take the following steps to prepare for flooding:

• Stock up on all the basic supplies, including food and water.

• Have an emergency plan for your family that includes evacuation routes if needed.

Check the area around your home for plugged drains or culverts that can back up and cause flooding. If you need help, call the county’s Public Works Department, Surface Water Management Division, at 425-388-3311 for assistance.

• Consider purchasing flood insurance. The Flood Smart website (www.floodsmart.gov) includes information and tools to help you make that decision.

Snohomish County’s 2013 Flood Guide provides additional helpful tips and resources for residents who live in or near floodplains, or commute through areas prone to flooding.

The guide is online at www.snoco.org (search “Flood Guide”) and is mailed to all residents who live within designated floodplains.

Hard copies are also available at local fire stations and public libraries, at the county’s Department of Emergency Management, in various locations on the county campus, or by calling Public Works Surface Water Management division at 425-388-3311.

For more information on flooding, flood safety, and flood insurance, visit: www.weather.gov/, sign up for weather alerts through the National Weather Service; or www.emd.wa.gov/preparedness/prep_infocus_winter.shtml#Floods; or http://takewinterbystorm.org/.

For more information, contact Snohomish County’s Public Works Director Steve Thomsen at 425-388-6652.

-Edited by Beacon staff

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