Posts tagged “FEMA

3 steps to make sure you’re ready for a flash flood

By David Vaughn, Engineering Program Specialist

Did you know flash flooding is the No. 1 cause of weather-related damage in Texas? Sadly, our great state often leads the nation in flood-related deaths.

As part of Texas Flood Awareness Week, the City of College Station reminds residents to be prepared.  Heavy rain and coastal storms can overburden our drainage systems and structures and lead to flood events. Knowing what to do before, during, and after significant storms can prevent or limit property damage, injuries, and loss of life. 

Floods are the most common natural disaster in the United States. They can develop slowly or happen with little or no warning. In either case, staying informed and anticipating such events is essential. 

If you live in a flood-prone or low-lying area, preparing for such emergencies is even more crucial. Here are three steps you can take today to make sure you’re ready:

1. Stay Informed

  • Know your flood risk. Visit FEMA’s Flood Map Service Center online or call the Planning and Development Services Department (979-764-3570) and ask for a review engineer to learn more about your property. 
  • Learn and rehearse evacuation routes, shelter plans, and flash-flood response.
  • Monitor weather forecasts and be aware of signs of potential flooding, such as heavy rain.

2. Take Action

  • Purchase flood insurance if necessary. It usually takes 30 days for a new insurance policy to go into effect, so it’s important to buy well before a disaster occurs.
  • Make a photographic inventory of your valuables for insurance purposes.
  • Keep valuable documents in a waterproof container and make digital copies when possible.

3. Gather Supplies 

  • Have a potable water supply that will last at least three days. You need one gallon of water per day for each person or pet in your household.
  • Have enough non-perishable, ready-to-eat food to last at least three days. Examples include canned meat and beans, nuts, nut butters and spreads, dry cereals and granola, and protein bars.
  • Keep structural supplies on hand such as sandbags, plywood or lumber, and plastic sheeting.
  • Make sure your flashlights and lanterns have good batteries. 
  • Always have a well-stocked first-aid kit.

If you’re adequately prepared, you enhance your chances of staying safe and protecting your property. That’s what Texas Flood Awareness Week is all about.

 


About the Blogger

David Vaughn recently joined Planning and Development Services as an engineering program specialist. He previously worked as an environmental coordinator for FedEx Express from 2015-20. A native of Silsbee, David earned a bachelor’s degree in geology from Sam Houston State in 2016.


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Flood insurance premiums lower in College Station

By Donnie Willis, Environmental Engineer/Drainage Inspector

In July, the Texas Water Development Board evaluated the City of College Station’s floodplain management ordinances and enforcement practices to determine their effectiveness in meeting National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) regulations.

The report found that College Station is one of the few communities with no issues.

In 1968, Congress created NFIP to help provide flood insurance to homeowners, renters, and business owners. Participating communities agree to adopt and enforce ordinances that meet or exceed Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) requirements to reduce the risk of flooding.

The program rates the City of College Station as a Class-7 Community, which results in lower flood insurance premiums. Our flood insurance rates are reduced 15 percent for structures in Special Flood Hazard Areas and 5 percent in 500-year areas. Preferred Risk Policies are already at reduced rates and don’t have additional premium reductions.

Flood insurance basics

Anywhere it rains, it can flood. And it only takes a few inches of water to cause major home damage. Since standard homeowner’s insurance doesn’t cover flooding, it’s important to know your flood insurance options.

Many people are under the misconception that they are ineligible for flood insurance because of where they live, or their mortgage status. But the truth is, most can get flood insurance if they live in or outside a floodplain, their property has flooded before, and even if their mortgage broker doesn’t require it.

The law requires flood insurance for property owners in high-risk areas, or Special Flood Hazard Areas, with a federally-backed mortgage. Also, if you’ve received a federal grant or loan for previous flood losses, you must have a flood policy to qualify for future aid.

For more details about flood insurance, visit FloodSmart.gov. To learn more about local floodplain management, visit cstx.gov/floodplains.

 


Willis_DonnieAbout the Author

Donnie Willis is in his 12th year as the City of College Station’s environmental engineer and drainage inspector. After 23 years in the U.S. Army, he served as the safety and environmental compliance manager at Trajen, Inc., from 2000-04. A native of Evans, La., Willis earned a bachelor’s degree in aeronautics from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in 1987 and an associate of science degree in occupational safety and health for Texas State Technical College in 1995.


 

Photo Credit: lightwise / 123RF Stock Photo

 

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