How to Prepare for Flooding

Written By Melissa Jabour

September is National Preparedness Month

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) established National Preparedness Month in 2004 to remind everyone of the importance of being prepared for an emergency. Floods are the most common natural disaster and the number one cause of weather-related deaths in the United States. Flooding can occur during every season, but Central Pennsylvania is at greater risk for flooding during hurricane season from June to November. Recently, both Lancaster and York County experienced significant flash flooding that impacted roads, bridges, homes and infrastructure, requiring water rescues and evacuations. There has been a significant amount of flooding already this season in our area.

How to Prepare for a Flood

  • Make a family emergency plan (don’t forget your pets!), keeping in mind evacuation routes, shelter plans, and flash flood response.
  • Be sure to have emergency supplies at home, in your car, and at work including flash lights, water, and batteries.
  • Evacuate when advised by authorities or if you are in a flood-prone area.
  • Never walk or drive through flooded streets—just 6 inches of moving water can knock you down, and one foot of moving water can carry your vehicle. Keep in mind the simple phrase, “don’t drown, turn around”. Even though water may appear to be shallow, looks can be deceiving.
  • Be aware of the types of flood risk in your area. Visit FEMA’s Flood Map Service Center  for more information.
  • Sign up for your local community’s warning system. The Emergency Alert System and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Weather Radio provide emergency alerts as well