The week of Oct. 20-26 is Flood Preparedness Week in California. This is the time when you should look at reducing the risk from flooding in your area.
It is important for you to know the flood risk to your home or business. After five years of drought, the floods of 2017 reminded us that threat can become real in the right conditions. The Department of Water Resources has information to help you understand the threat flooding may pose to your property. Log onto www.stormready.org
and click Flood Zone Information to learn more about your flood risk.
If you live in a flood zone, you can reduce the potential for damage by being proactive.
- Clear storm drains of leaves and debris to ensure the water freely flows away from your home. Clogs can cause localized flooding to streets that could eventually back up to your doorway.
- If you come across street flooding, call 3-1-1 to have County crews come out and clear the clogs. Also, don’t drive through flooded streets.
- If you see items dumped into nearby creeks, call 3-1-1 and report it. It’s important to clear those areas before the rain to avoid problems.
In Sacramento County, nearly 20 percent of flood insurance claims come from moderate to low-risk areas. You can still obtain flood insurance if your home or business is not in the mapped floodplain. If unchecked, localized flooding can cause a lot of damage. If you live in an area prone to flooding, consider talking to a qualified insurance agent about flood insurance.
Sacramento County takes part in a special Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) program that helps reduce the cost of flood insurance. Through FEMA, if you live a designated Special Flood Hazard Area you will be saving about $446.00 per year on the full cost of a standard flood insurance policy.
During Flood Preparedness Week, develop a plan if you have to evacuate. This plan will be useful for any potential disasters, including fires. It’s not too early to decide where you will go and what you should take.
Remember the five Ps when preparing to leave your home in an emergency:
1. People and pets
2. Papers (important documents)
3. Prescriptions (medication, eyeglasses, hearing aids)
4. Pictures (Irreplaceable memories)
5. Personal computer
Make sure you have a designated meeting place in case you start out-or become separated from family. Stormready.org also features evacuation maps as well as the regions flooding history.
In addition, on Nov. 1, Sacramento County will open up four sandbag locations for residents in the unincorporated area. If you live in a flood prone area, this will give you the chance to grab sandbags prior to the rainy season. The County supplies the sand and bags, but you need a shovel. There is a 20-bag limit per visit.
Stay up-to-date with the latest flood information by signing up for Sacramento Alert. This Countywide system, run by the Office of Emergency Services, will keep you informed about potential flooding or any other emergency threatening your neighborhood Use Flood Preparedness Week to make yourself Storm Ready.