Severe Weather Awareness week is February 19-24, 2017. This year during Severe Weather Awareness week the national weather service is focusing on flood safety.
Everyone, including individuals, families, homeowners, renters, property owners, and business owners - should understand the flood risk for their home and property and the best ways to keep themselves, their loved ones, and their property safe from flooding now and in the future. For more information about your risk you can visit floodsmart.gov. Flood insurance is the best way to protect your family from loss and is available to homeowners, renters, and businesses. It takes 30 days for flood insurance policies to take effect. Now is the time to purchase flood insurance. Purchasing flood insurance provides financial protection for the cost of repairs due to flood damage. Standard insurance policies do not cover flooding, but flood insurance is available for homeowners, renters, and business owners through the National Flood Insurance Program.
Wireless Emergency Alerts can warn you about flash flooding. A Flood Watch means that floods are possible. A Flood Warning indicates a flood will occur soon, and you should move to higher ground. Local authorities may issue an evacuation notice to alert residents that flooding will be or is occurring and it is important to leave the area. Evacuation orders vary by state and community, and may range from voluntary to mandatory. When authorities issue a mandatory evacuation notice, leave the area immediately. In case you are not together when authorities issue a flood watch or flood warning, make a plan for how you will communicate with each other. Sending texts is often faster than making a phone call. Keep important numbers written down in your wallet, not just in your phone.
Gather the supplies you may need in case a flood leaves you without power, water or gas. Store basic emergency supplies in a “Go Bag” or other container for easy access. You can find a list of emergencies supplies HERE. Before a flood: reduce potential property damage by elevating utilities, waterproofing basements and installing sump pumps, sewer backflow valves, and water alarms.
Dangers still exist even after a disaster. You should avoid standing water as it may be electrically charged from underground or downed power lines. Return home only when authorities say it is safe. Be aware of areas where floodwaters have receded and watch out for debris. Floodwaters often erode roads and walkways. Do not attempt to drive through areas that are still flooded. In a flood, a little water can do a lot of damage. Did you know that just 6 inches of flood water can cause thousands of dollars of damage, 12 inches is enough to float and carry away a small vehicle and 18 to 24 inches of rushing water can be enough to float and carry away a full size pickup truck or SUV? NEVER drive through flooded roads. “Turn Around Don’t Drown®."
For the last six years the state of Alabama has set aside a weekend in February that coincides with Severe Weather Awareness Week as a sales tax weekend for preparedness materials. This years sales tax holiday will be February 24, 2017 through February 26, 2017.
Click HERE for a complete list of items that can be purchased tax free.