Hurricane survival guide: Flood dangers are real

Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Much of the Florida coastline is prone to flooding during Hurricane Season. Nearly 25% of flood insurance claims come from moderate to low risk areas.

Flood watch

A "Flood watch" means that conditions are favorable for heavy rain that could lead to flooding. Keep informed by watching Local 10 News and if the power is out listen to 101.5 LITE FM, MAGIC 102.7 FM, 790 AM/104.3FM the Ticket to be ready for quick action if flooding is observed or a warning is issued.

Flood warning

A "Flood warning" means that flooding is imminent or occurring. If advised to evacuate, do so immediately. Move to a safe area before access is cut off by flood water. Continue to closely monitor the situation.

Flood safety

Do not walk through flowing water. Drowning is the number one cause of flood related deaths, mostly during flash floods. Currents can be deceptive: six- inches of moving water can knock you off your feet. If you walk in standing water, use a pole or stick to see how deep the water is.

Do not drive through a flooded area. Nearly half of all flood fatalities are vehicle related.

Do not drive around road barriers; the road or bridge may be washed out. If your vehicle stalls, abandon it immediately and seek higher ground. Rapidly rising water may sweep the vehicle away.

Stay away from power lines and electrical wires. The number two flood related killer, after drowning, is electrocution. Electric current can travel through water. Report downed power lines to your power company or county emergency operations center.

Keep children away from culverts and storm drains.

Don’t use appliances or motors that have gotten wet unless they have been taken apart, cleaned and dried.

Property protection

Use sand bags to reduce erosion and scouring.

Elevate furniture above flood protection levels.

Flood insurance

Most people learn too late that standard property insurance does not cover flood damage or that there’s a 30-day waiting period before newly purchased coverage goes into effect. There’s also about a 25 percent chance of experiencing a flood during the life of a 30-year mortgage.

Call the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) at 1-888- 379-9531 or go to www.floodsmart.gov to learn how to purchase flood insurance and become eligible for flood assistance through local programs. The NFIP Claims Department can be reached at 1-800-767-4341.

Before a flood

Make plans of what you will do and where you will go in a flood emergency.

Know the elevation of your property in relation to nearby streams and other waterways. For flood map information in Miami-Dade County call 305-372-6466 or use Miami-Dade’s GIS system.

In Broward County, use Broward’s GIS system

Emergency operation centers

Miami Dade: 305-468-5400

Broward: 954-831-3900

Monroe: 1-800-955-5504

Flood & drainage complaints

Miami Dade: 305-372-6688

Broward: Call the Emergency Operations Center if activated

Monroe: 305-289-2518

Hurricane Survival Guide