It’s flood safety awareness week (http://www.floodsafety.noaa.gov/). This week, learn how floods occur, some of the hazards associated with floods, and what actions to take to protect life and property when floods threaten or occur. Be part of a Weather-Ready Nation.
Floods are the most common and widespread of all natural hazards. Some floods develop slowly, but flash floods can happen in just minutes.
Floodprone areas have been identified in 267 cities and towns and in all of the 64 counties in Colorado.
Over 250,000 people are living in Colorado’s floodplains. There are estimated to be 65,000 homes and 15,000 commercial, industrial, and business structures in identified floodplains. There are likely many more structures located within unmapped flood hazard areas. The value of the property, structures, and contents located in the identified floodplains is estimated to be over 11 billion dollars (1996).
Cumulative flood losses for the most damaging floods in Colorado between the turn of the century and 1993 include 331 people killed and $3.3 billion (1995 dollars) worth of property damage.
What you should know:
- Know your neighborhood flood history
- Consider purchasing flood insurance
- Stay alert for changing weather conditions
- Get out of areas subject to flooding like low spots, canyons, and areas downstream from dams
- Do not attempt to cross water that is above your knees
- Do not drive over a flooded road
- Abandon a stalled vehicle and immediately move to higher ground
- Even 6 inches of fast-moving flood water can knock you off your feet, and a depth of two feet will float your car!
NEVER try to walk, swim, or drive through such swift water. If you come upon flood waters, STOP! TURN AROUND AND GO ANOTHER WAY.
Resources to learn about floods:
Colorado Water Conservation Board (CWCB) Flood Page - http://cwcb.state.co.us/water-management/flood/Pages/main.aspx
The CWCB performs many tasks relevant to flood preparedness and response throughout the state, this website provides flood information pertinent to the citizens of Colorado. Each day the CWCB posts the state’s Flood Threat Bulletin detailing the current flood risk throughout the State, the CWCB is the State Coordinating Agency for the National Flood Insurance Program, and provides leadership and coordination of federal, state, and local resources through the Colorado Flood Task Force.
This site is an informative resource for state and local officials and citizens looking for information on the National Flood Insurance Program. Information posted on this website is especially useful to those responsible for helping a community recover from a disaster such as insurance professionals, lenders, claims adjusters and surveyors.
FEMA’s official flood preparedness website includes information on what to do before, during, and after flooding occurs as well as links on how to determine if your home is eligible for flood insurance. This site also recommends what items need to be included in a flood ready kit, how to develop a plan in the event your community is affected by a flood event, and information on how to get involved assisting communities recovering from a disaster.