(DES MOINES) ñ On March 1 several state agencies will kick off a month-long Flood Awareness Month campaign to assist Iowans in preparing for and remaining safe during flood events.|(DES MOINES) ñ On March 1 several state agencies will kick off a month-long Flood Awareness Month campaign to assist Iowans in preparing for and remaining safe during flood events. Flood awareness is particularly important when considering the damage caused by flooding in 2008 and 2010. Already this year homes have been damaged in Fort Dodge in a flood created by high river levels and ice jams.
Governor Terry Branstad has signed a proclamation officially declaring March Flood Awareness Month. “It is important for Iowans to know the steps they can take to protect themselves and their property from future flood events,” said Governor Branstad. “The Flood Awareness Month campaign will help educate Iowans about resources available to minimize loss when flooding occurs.”
Flood-related information and safety tips will be shared throughout March with the media and the public by officials from the Iowa Insurance Division, the Rebuild Iowa Office, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources and the Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management Division.
State officials advise people to begin assessing their flood risk by being aware of whether they live in or near a flood plain, discussing flood preparations with their families, and considering whether flood insurance would be a good choice for them. Iowans who rent or own a home or business should also be aware of the availability of flood insurance. Iowans want to consider looking into the insurance as soon as possible, because unlike homeowner’s insurance, there is a 30-day waiting period before flood insurance begins once a person purchases a policy. Iowans can find out more by visiting the Iowa Insurance Division’s new flood awareness Web site at www.DontTestTheWatersIowa.gov.
Another helpful Web site for Iowans to refer to is www.FloodSmart.gov. Homeowners, renters and small business owners can estimate their premiums, calculate their flood insurance rate and find a local insurance agent qualified to sell flood insurance on this site. There are currently 17,164 policies in Iowa, up 56-percent from the time prior to the 2008 floods.
Lastly, Iowa’s Homeland Security and Emergency Management Division (HSEMD) offers three simple steps for Iowans to protect themselves and their families before a flood or disaster occurs:
Learn about and stay aware of flood risks in your community.
Work with family members to put together a family emergency and evacuation plan.
Put together an emergency kit before a disaster strikes.
Iowans can learn more about flood safety tips, evacuation plans and how to prepare for a disaster at HSEMD’s Web site www.bereadyiowa.org.