FEMA Director Urges Americans to be FloodSmart as Spring Flooding Season Starts

March 22, 2005

Department of Homeland Security Under Secretary Michael Brown is reminding Americans to be FloodSmart as the spring flooding season begins.

The Department’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has teamed with its partners at the National Weather Service for the first-ever Flood Safety Awareness Week this week, to raise public attention to the dangers of flooding and ways to protect life and property.

“Flooding is America’s Number One natural hazard. Every state is at risk for flooding,” said Brown. “Last year, hurricane and tropical storm flooding stretched from Florida inland into Pennsylvania and into New England. People in all states should be aware of their risks and know what to do when floodwaters rise.”

Floods, on average, kill more than 100 people and are responsible for $4.6 billion in damage in the United States each year. More than half of those deaths occur in vehicles overtaken by floodwaters.

“Being FloodSmart means knowing about your risks and ways to protect yourself, your family and your home. There’s a wealth of information on flood safety available on the Internet and from your local emergency manager,” added Brown. “The time to learn and protect yourself is now.”

Learn more about flood precautions at http://www.fema.gov/hazards/floods/.

Brown said that one of the best ways to prepare is to protect yourself from financial loss. Flood insurance is key to being prepared.

“Homeowners insurance doesn’t cover flood damage and it only takes an inch of water to do costly damage to your property,” he said. “Flood insurance is a cost-effective way to financially prepare for floods.”

To learn more about one’s risk and flood insurance, visit http://www.floodsmart.gov or call (800) 427-4219.

For more on Flood Safety Awareness Week, visit http://www.floodsafety.noaa.gov/.

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