March 17-21 has been designated by the National Weather Service (NWS) as Flood Safety Awareness Week. Each day of the week will highlight some aspect of flooding including a number of different causes of flooding, how flooding is forecast, and steps you can take to protect yourself from flooding.
Monday focuses on the Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service (AHPS), which provides improved river and flood forecasts and water information. AHPS can provide information as to how high a river may rise as well as when it will peak and how long the flood will last. The length of a drought can also be forecast using AHPS.
Tuesday's focus is the National Weather Service Campaign "Turn Around Don't Drown." The basis of the campain is to avoid flooded areas, especially when driving. Many flood-related deaths occur when an attempt is made to drive through water-covered roads. When water covers the road on which you are driving, the National Weather Service urges you to "Turn Around Don't Drown."
On Wednesday, the focus is causes of floods and droughts. The first major cause is hurricanes and tropical storms - something we in North Florida and South Georgia are all too familiar with. Other causes of flooding we don't usually experience in the southeast are snowmelt and ice jams. In other areas of the country, especially mountainous areas, debris is often swept down the mountain slopes during times of flooding.
Thursday's focus is flood insurance. Remember, most homeowner's insurance policies do NOT cover damage from flooding. More information on flood insurance can be found at www.floodsmart.gov.
Flood safety is the focus on Friday. It covers how to find information and the best actions to take based on the information. Information is always provided on NOAA Weather Radios, which can now be purchased at Publix stores around Tallahassee. Local media can also provide critical information and what actions should be taken.
For more information on Flood Safety Awareness Week, visit the National Weather Service Flood Safety site at www.weather.gov/floodsafety