TAVARES – During National Flood Safety Awareness Week March 16-22, Lake County Emergency Management, in conjunction with Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), is reminding residents that flooding is a coast-to-coast threat year-round.
“In August 2008, Tropical Storm Fay pummeled Central Florida with winds, tornadoes and heavy rainfall, causing severe flooding in many local counties including Lake,” said Lake County Emergency Operations Manager Tommy Carpenter. “Residents should develop a family emergency plan, have an emergency supply kit and be knowledgeable about flood risks."
During Fay, homes in Eustis, Mount Dora, Leesburg, Umatilla, Astor, Paisley and Grand Island suffered damage from mold and mildew as well as water damage that weakened ceilings and floors causing partial structure collapse.
Floods are the most common hazard in the United States, but not all floods are alike. Floods typically occur when too much rain falls over time, but flash floods develop suddenly. Hurricanes can also bring flooding to inland areas.
National Flood Safety Awareness Week highlights some of the many ways floods can occur, the hazards associated with floods, and what can be done to protect lives and property.
For example, people should never attempt to drive through flooded roads, but should abide by NOAA’s flood safety slogan: “Turn Around, Don’t Drown.” Nearly 100 people die each year due to flooding, primarily killed on flooded roadways.
For more information on flood safety tips, visit www.ready.gov/floods. To find out more about how to obtain a flood insurance policy, visit floodsmart.gov. Residents of unincorporated Lake County may also contact Lake County Public Works at 352-483-9081 or firstname.lastname@example.org for information on the Flood Insurance Rate Maps used by FEMA to establish Flood Hazard Areas in Lake County.
The Lake County Emergency Management Division coordinates with county, municipal, state and federal agencies to provide protection to lives and property from natural, technological and man-made disasters. The department can be reached at 352-343-9420 or by logging on to www.lakecountyfl.gov/departments/public_safety/emergency_management. For the most up-to-date information during an emergency, follow Emergency Management at www.facebook.com/LakeCountyFLEmergencyManagement and www.twitter.com/lakeemergency.