Flood Safety Preparedness

By Edward J. Vassallo, Regional Preparedness Liaison, FEMA Region III
Even though we are in the middle of winter, it’s about time to begin preparing for spring flooding. El Niño could deliver drenching conditions to California and throughout the South. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has developed fact sheets on El Niño available at NOAA El Niño Impacts by region and these predicted conditions come with an enhanced flood threat and an increase in tornado activity through the spring.
Communities are better prepared to withstand a disaster and can recover more quickly if the whole community is involved. This means emergency managers, schools, businesses, organizational and community leaders, houses of worship, government officials, and residents must work together. Only with input from all sectors can the community assess its needs and determine the best ways to organize and strengthen its collective assets, capacities, and interests. For more tips on getting prepared, for any emergency please visit www.Ready.gov  or America’s PrepareAthon! Local weather forecasts and hazardous weather statements are available at www.weather.gov.  
To help you with messaging to better your community, use the 2016 Flood Safety Awareness Toolkit
Please encourage friends and family to sign up for local weather alerts or download the FEMA app. The FEMA App contains disaster safety tips, interactive lists for storing your emergency kit, emergency meeting location information, and other disaster-specific information. The app is free to download through your smart phone provider’s app store on Android, Apple, and Blackberry devices.