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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Our prayers remain with those affected by Harvey, as well as those in the path of Irma. While College Station was spared harsh effects from the recent storms, we still say thanks to our employees who worked around the clock here and in other jurisdictions.
— Public Communications Office
By Donnie Willis, Environmental Engineer
A flood can happen anywhere it rains, and only a few inches of water can cause major damage to your home.
Since standard homeowner’s insurance doesn’t cover flooding, it’s important to know your options. Despite common misconceptions, all homeowners, business owners and renters can get flood insurance regardless of whether they live in a floodplain or if their property has flooded before.
The City of College Station participates in the National Flood Insurance Program and is rated as a Class-7 Community, which means our residents pay lower flood insurance premiums. Rates are reduced 15 percent for structures in Special Flood Hazard Areas and 5 percent in Non-Special Flood Hazard Areas.
Flood insurance is required for property owners living in a high-risk area ─ or special flood hazard area ─ with a federally-backed mortgage. If you’ve received a federal grant or loan for previous flood losses, you must have a flood policy to qualify for future aid.