Over the past week, severe weather caused flooding in much of the United States. The heavy rain and thunderstorms has prompted the American Red Cross to remind people how to stay prepared.
Flooding has been reported in Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Idaho, Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, Texas, Kansas, and West Virginia. Severe weather is also expected in parts of the Midwest and South.
Arkansas was hit the hardest; last week, rivers in the Albert Pike campground swelled approximately 20 feet within five hours. The resulting flood prompted the Red Cross to open a shelter in Pike County.
In Nebraska, the governor issued a state-wide emergency. Several dams within the state were overtopped, breached, or damaged, resulting in increased river flow and damage to homes, roads and bridges.
To assist those in the affected states, the Red Cross has shelters open, is providing meals and snacks to residents and emergency responders and also distributing clean-up kits to help residents get their homes back in order.
How to Prepare for a Flood-
- Listen to area radio and television stations and a NOAA Weather Radio for possible flood warnings and reports of flooding in progress or other critical information from the National Weather Service (NWS).
- Be prepared to evacuate at a moment’s notice.
- When a flood or flash flood warning is issued for your area, head for higher ground and stay there.
- Stay away from floodwaters. If you come upon a flowing stream where water is above your ankles, stop, turn around and go another way. Six inches of swiftly moving water can sweep you off of your feet.
- If you come upon a flooded road while driving, turn around and go another way. If you are caught on a flooded road and waters are rising rapidly around you, get out of the car quickly and move to higher ground. Most cars can be swept away by less than two feet of moving water.
- Keep children out of the water. They are curious and often lack judgment about running water or contaminated water.
- Be especially cautious at night when it is harder to recognize flood danger.
- Because standard homeowners insurance doesn’t cover flooding, it’s important to have protection from the floods associated with hurricanes, tropical storms, heavy rains and other conditions that impact the U.S. For more information on flood insurance, please visit the National Flood Insurance Program Web site at www.FloodSmart.gov.
Also, check out the Be Red Cross Ready - Flood Safety Checklist.