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IEMA offers safety tips during National Flood Safety Awareness Week, March 16-22

On flooded roads, 'Turn Around, Don't Drown' can save lives

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[March 20, 2014]  SPRINGFIELD With the spring 2013 floods still fresh in the minds of many Illinois residents, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency joins the National Weather Service and other emergency management organizations across the country to observe National Flood Safety Awareness Week, March 16-22. Throughout the week, IEMA is encouraging Illinois residents to learn more about flooding and to take steps to be better prepared.

"We're keeping a close eye on rivers and streams across the state so that we're prepared for potential flooding this spring," said IEMA Director Jonathon Monken. "But it's also important for people to stay aware of flood risks in their communities and know what they can do to stay safe if flooding occurs."

Monken said one of the most important safety tips during flooding is "Turn Around, Don't Drown," which is intended to remind people to never drive on a flooded road. Most flood-related fatalities involve people in vehicles attempting to drive through water covering a road. The speed and depth of the water is not always obvious, and as little as 2 feet of rushing water can sweep away most vehicles, including trucks and SUVs.

Flood preparedness tips:

  • Develop a family emergency plan and review it with all family members.

  • Maintain an emergency supply kit with bottled water, nonperishable food, first-aid items, flashlight, radio, batteries and more.

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  • Stay aware of weather conditions in your area, particularly if you live or work in areas known to flood.

  • Make an itemized list of your personal property. Include photos or videos of the inside and outside of your home. Store these documents in a safe location away from your home.

  • Consider purchasing flood insurance, since flood losses are not covered under homeowners insurance policies.

For more information about flood preparedness, visit the Ready Illinois website at www.ready.illinois.gov.

[Text from Illinois Emergency Management Agency file received from the Illinois Office of Communication and Information]

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