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New Yorkers encouraged to learn about dangers of flooding & how to prepare for flood emergency
Gov. Kathy Hochul declared the week of March 13, 2023, as Flood Safety Awareness Week in New York state. The annual campaign, conducted in partnership with the National Weather Service, educates New Yorkers about flood dangers and how to prepare for any emergency involving flooding.
The New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services works with local, state and federal partners year-round to address issues involving flooding, including recovering from past events, training first responders, and preparing everyday New Yorkers to understand the risks and know what steps to take when there's a flood.
"Flooding is the top weather-related threat New Yorkers face, and Flood Safety Awareness Week is a great opportunity to learn what to do before, during and after a flood event," Hochul said. "New York state is home to numerous bodies of water, including the Great Lakes, the St. Lawrence Seaway, the Hudson and Mohawk Rivers, the Finger Lakes, coastal areas, and countless rivers, lakes and streams – all the more reason for New Yorkers to understand the danger of flooding and how to best prepare."
Hochul’s team said, “The risk of flooding across New York state and the rest of the country is increasing due to climate change. The warming atmosphere impacts the weather in several ways, including heavier precipitation, tropical storms and hurricanes occurring with more frequency, and higher sea levels due to increasing ocean temperatures and melting of ice sheets. Across the United States, flooding causes billions of dollars in damage and is responsible for almost 100 deaths each year. Gov. Hochul is joining DHSES and NWS in urging all New Yorkers to learn about the threats associated with flooding and know the actions they can take now to protect families, businesses and communities from flooding and other emergencies.”
National Weather Service Director Ken Graham said, "I've seen first-hand how destructive and deadly floods can be. Whether you are driving or walking, if you come to a flooded road, ‘Turn Around Don't Drown!’ "
New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Commissioner Jackie Bray said, "In just the last few years, New York has seen devasting impacts from flooding across the state. Take some time this Flood Safety Awareness Week to understand your risk. Find out if you live in a flood-prone area and learn the steps to take to prevent flooding before it strikes. To prepare for flood emergencies, New Yorkers should build an emergency supply kit and develop a plan for their families and loved ones should they encounter flooding."
Hochul’s team said, “As flooding can cause damage and injury with little warning and in several different ways – including power outages, disruptions to transportation and transit systems, building damage and catastrophic landslides – it is important for all New Yorkers to understand the severity of danger that flooding risks poses, and what individuals and families can do to stay safe in a flooding emergency.”
Hochul and Bray encouraged individuals to sign-up for free emergency alerts such as weather warnings, road closures, and other emergency information at https://alert.ny.gov.
The governor’s team provided these “key steps New Yorkers can take before and during a flood to stay safe”:
√ Know your area's type of flood risk – visit FEMA's flood map service center.
√ Do not wait to plan for flooding! A flood emergency may never happen to you but, if it does, a little advance preparation could save your life and the lives of others.
√ If you live in a flood-prone area, document your belongings and valuables. Keep important documents in a waterproof container. Create digital, password-protected copies of important documents, pictures and other items.
√ Obtain flood insurance coverage under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Homeowner's policies do not cover flooding.
√ If you are advised by emergency officials to take immediate action such as evacuation, do not wait – follow all orders promptly.
√ Traveling during a flood can be extremely dangerous. One foot of moving water can sweep a vehicle away. Never walk, swim or drive through flood waters. If you have doubts, remember: "Turn Around, Don't Drown!"
√ Consider those with access and functional needs to determine if they are prepared for a flood emergency where they live and work.
√ Develop an emergency plan that includes considerations for your children and/or your pets.
For more preparedness information and safety tips from DHSES, visit dhses.ny.gov/safety. The National Weather Service website also includes flood safety tips and spring safety resources.
For more information, find DHSES on Facebook, on Twitter or visit dhses.ny.gov.