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Ready Georgia offers flooding tips

It’s been an extraordinarily wet week in many parts of the state. With several inches of additional rain expected to fall over the next several days it’s important for Georgians to be prepared for flooding. Taking a few simple steps can minimize property damage, injury or even death. Flooding is one of the most deadly types of severe weather, with approximately half of flooding deaths resulting from vehicles being swept downstream. As little as six inches of water can cause a driver to lose control of a car, making the simple message, “Turn around, don’t drown” of vital importance.
Ready Georgia offers the below tips to help your readers understand what to do before, during and after a flood. I’ve also attached an informative flood awareness infographic that you can use in conjunction with your story.  If you’d like to arrange an interview on this topic with a representative from GEMA/HS or your local Emergency Management Agency, I’m happy to set something up.
Before Flooding
Create an evacuation plan for your family. Determine how you will leave and where you will go if you are advised to evacuate.
If you have a car, fill the gas tank in case you have to evacuate.
Build a portable Ready kit that includes essential supplies you can take with you if you must leave your home.
Develop a family communications plan that can help you reconnect with family members if you are separated when flooding occurs. Choose a meeting place outside of your neighborhood in case your family is apart and unable to return home due to flooded roads.
Familiarize yourself with the terms that are used to identify a flood.
A flood watch means conditions are favorable for a specific hazardous weather event to occur. A Flood Watch is issued when conditions are favorable for flooding. It does not mean flooding will occur, but it is possible.
A flood warning means the hazardous weather event is imminent or already happening. A Flood Warning is issued when flooding is imminent or occurring.
Keep insurance policies, documents, and other valuables in a safe deposit box and keep copies in a waterproof container in your Ready kit.
Move your furniture and valuables to higher floors of your home.
Plan ahead for your pets. Many shelters cannot accept pets due to health reasons, so it’s important to find a pet-friendly hotel or make arrangements with family or friends in advance.
During Flooding
Closely monitor a local radio station, TV station, NOAA Weather Radio or the Ready Georgia app for flood information.
Follow the instructions of local officials. If advised to evacuate, do so immediately.
NEVER drive through standing water. It only takes one foot to float a full-sized automobile and two feet can sweep it away. More than half of flood victims are in vehicles swept away by moving water.
Move to higher ground away from rivers, streams, creeks and storm drains.
Stay out of floodwaters if possible. The water may be contaminated or electrically charged. However, if your car stalls in rapidly rising waters, get out immediately and seek higher ground.
Stay away from downed power lines to avoid the risk of electric shock or electrocution.
After Flooding
Do not return to your home until local authorities say it is safe. Even after floodwaters recede, roads and bridges may be weakened and could collapse. Buildings may be unstable and drinking water may be contaminated. Use common sense and exercise caution.
For more information about thunderstorms, flooding and general emergency preparedness, visit ready.ga.gov or contact your local emergency management agency. For preparedness on the go, download Ready Georgia’s free mobile app.