The week of Oct. 23 – Oct. 30 is Flood Preparedness Week in California. After the storm we experienced this past weekend, now is a good time to look at reducing the risk of flooding in your area.
Yes, we are in the midst of a drought, but it is still important to know the flood risk to your home or business. The weekend's record-breaking storm caused six different creeks and streams in the county to reach flood stage. What we just experienced is a real reminder of the havoc wet weather can cause with downed trees and flooded roads, and when the skies open up, we can quickly find that flooding is no longer a threat, but the real deal.
The Department of Water Resources has information to help you understand the threat flooding may pose to your property. Log onto www.stormready.org
and click Flood Zone Information to learn more about your flood risk.
If you live in a flood zone, you can reduce the potential for damage by being proactive.
One of the best ways to reduce flooding in your immediate area is to clear storm drains of leaves and debris to ensure the water freely flows away from your home. Clogs can cause localized flooding to streets that could eventually back up to your doorway. If you come across street flooding, call 3-1-1 to have County crews come out and clear the clogs. Also, don’t drive through flooded streets. If you see items dumped into nearby creeks, call 3-1-1 and report it. It’s important to clear those areas before the rain to avoid problems.
If you live near creeks or streams, you can monitor their levels during a storm by turning to sacflood.org
. The County offers a real-time system to keep you updated on how much water levels rise.
In Sacramento County, nearly 20 percent of flood insurance claims come from moderate to low-risk areas. You can still obtain flood insurance if your home or business is not in the mapped floodplain. If unchecked, localized flooding can also cause a lot of damage. If you live in an area prone to flooding, consider talking to a qualified insurance agent about flood insurance.
Sacramento County takes part in a special Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) program that helps reduce the cost of flood insurance. Through FEMA, if you live a designated Special Flood Hazard Area, you may save $446 per year on the full cost of a standard flood insurance policy.
During Flood Preparedness Week, develop a plan if you have to evacuate. This plan will be useful for any potential disasters, including fires. It’s not too early to decide where you will go and what you should take.
There are the five Ps that you should have ready to go if you need to leave your home.
- People and pets
- Papers (important documents)
- Prescriptions (medication, eyeglasses, hearing aids)
- Pictures (Irreplaceable memories)
- Personal computer
Also, have a designated meeting place if you are separated from family. On Stormready.org
, you can also look at evacuation maps as well as the region's flooding history.
The County has three sandbag locations in the unincorporated area. If you live in a flood-prone area, this will offer the chance to grab sandbags in advance of a storm. The County supplies the sand and bags, but you need a shovel. There is a 20-bag limit per visit. Locations:
- Branch Center (3847 Branch Center Rd. Sacramento CA 95827)
- Westside Park (6555 West 2nd St. Rio Linda CA 95673)
- Orangevale Community Center (6826 Hazel Ave. Orangevale CA 95662)
Keep up with the latest information during flood threats by signing up to Sacramento Alert
. This Countywide system run by the Office of Emergency Services will keep you informed about potential flooding or any other emergency threatening your neighborhood. Use Flood Preparedness Week to make yourself Storm Ready.