WDAY.com

WDAZ: Your Home Team

Published February 02, 2011, 12:20 AM

FLOOD 2011: FEMA Officials Say Preparation is Key

Federal Emergency Management Agency officials say it's time to gear up for this year's round of spring flooding. Nobody wants to go through one, but there are ways you can protect yourself should one come.

Federal Emergency Management Agency officials say it's time to gear up for this year's round of spring flooding. The National Weather Service says there is a 50 percent chance of a major flood in the northern valley.

Nobody wants to go through a flood, but there are ways you can protect yourself should one come.

"We don't forecast the weather, but we do follow the weather service closely. What we understand is there is the threat of flooding along the Red River," Jerry DeFelice with FEMA external affairs said.

To make sure Grand Forks County is ready, FEMA held a public meeting Tuesday night in Grand Forks for the fourth time in three years.

"Whenever we see the threat rising to a high level, we like to connect or reconnect with communities," DeFelice said.

The National Weather Service said we could see a flood that might exceed the flood of 2009. FEMA officials told people at the meeting that it's time to get prepared.

"Have a plan, make a kit, stay informed," preparedness officer Lynn Pisano-Pedigo said.

A kit should include non-perishable food and water, enough to last you at least three days. If you decide to save canned goods, you might want to pack one thing:

"A manual can opener to open up those canned goods," Pisano-Pedigo said.

A good kit isn't limited to what you can eat. Also pack any prescriptions, bathroom essentials and don't forget about the paperwork.

"Knowing that you have your mortgage papers and insurance papers, birth certificates and that they are all waterproof," DeFelice said.

Step number two: flood insurance. According to FEMA, it's the quickest way to recover from the frequent flooding in the Red River Valley.

"We think this is an opportune time to elevate our message," Dave Kyner with FEMA said.

"Experience shows if people and businesses are prepared, they come through disasters in much better shape," DeFelice said.

Tags: