I was trying to think of a catchy title and I could only think of this.
One voice is not enough, how can one spread the word? Do we need a big flashy ad campaign, a jingle from a pop star? I actually thought that Montgomery county PA before 15 years ago had not seen much flooding. After conducting some research, I have found that Pennsylvania is a very flood prone state. We easily forget how many creeks and rivers are very close to us all. You can look at any detailed map, in print or online and see the network of waterways that flow from north to south all over Montgomery County.
The objective of this blog was originally related to my personal interests in weather events and Photography. With reading weather stories for this blog, combined with watching how this area flooded during Irene and Lee, I feel that I need help raise awareness of a potentially serious problem with our suburban landscape. Even worse, I have heard numerous times how people have died trying to drive through flooded roads. I met and spoke with a business owner who standing outside his flooded business the day after Irene had passed. I offered to take pictures of his damaged local and send the pics to him by email. Most of us do not have a clue how to handle ourselves with a serious storm threat. Of course we don’t see massive tornados bringing 5 inch hail or a direct hit with winds driven from a large Hurricane. However with recent the climate change we are finding that the ocean temperature has risen, ice flows in the North Atlantic are disappearing. All these combined problems add up and alter our weather at a global level. Our media and other sources of information do not seem to be enough to capture our attention and educate the general public. On another note, I was upset to hear how the residents of Joplin Mo. ignored the tornado warning last May and this of course is how many people died, being unprepared for what was a very large tornado that destroyed much of their town. We must understand that because of climate change, there is greater chance of having strong storms occur that make it harder for Meteorologists detect them. In other words we end up being caught by surprise. Being unprepared or making a really bad decision during a flood could mean life or death.
There are several things we can do to be prepared for unusual weather events.
Some of this will sound like common sense, but we live complex lives where we are so busy at school or at work that we sometimes are too busy to read or listen to the news. There are NOAA weather alert radios that can be used if you are in a power failure or if your cell phone loses its signal. I recommend this type of radio because the alerts are done by a computer and the reports that are made are done 24/7. A weather radio is easily found in your local RadioShack store. Being ready for a disaster involves preparation and planning. More information on that and how to document your property for insurance purposes can be found here. http://readymontco.montcopa.org/readymontco/cwp/view,A,1553,Q,43345,readymontcoNav,%7C34802%7C.asp
Did you know that it takes about 30 days just to enroll in a flood insurance policy? This reinforces that fact that you should be prepared way before storms affect you and your family.
I obtained the following information at http://www.floodsmart.gov/ this is a very educational and useful website. I placed this information from that site here for educational purposes, I do not sell flood insurance.
Please read the information below...
Inland flooding (this is no joke)
Some of the most damaging floods after a hurricane occur hundreds of miles from the coast. Even though the state of Pennsylvania has no ocean coastline, it repeatedly faced intense rainfall causing dramatic inland flooding during last year's hurricane season. In 2004, hurricane season flood insurance claims for Pennsylvanians were second only to Florida. Residents of that inland state received more than $175 million in total payments.
A tropical storm can produce more rainfall than a Category 5 hurricane. The largest amount of rainfall from hurricanes is usually produced by slow moving tropical storms that stall over an area. As all hurricanes weaken to tropical storms and move inland, the threat of torrential rains and high winds over large areas intensify the risks of flooding.
Inland flooding can occur almost immediately and even a small amount of flooding can cause significant risk and damage. As tropical storms move inland, rainfall dumped in short timeframes can result in flash flooding that can last up to a week or more. Just six inches of moving water can sweep a person off his or her feet, and only a few inches of water can cause thousands of dollars of damage to homes and businesses.
Be FloodSmart Inland Flooding Preparedness Tips:
Monitor any tropical storm systems. Make sure you and your family are aware of storm paths and pay attention to any flood-related advisories or warnings for your community.
Make sure you have an emergency plan and contact. Plan and practice a flood evacuation route and ask someone out of state to be a "family contact" in case you are separated from loved ones.
Get flood insurance. Visit www.FloodSmart.gov or call 1-800-427-2419 to learn your risk, prepare for inland flooding, and discover how to purchase a National Flood Insurance Policy. A 30-day wait period means you should act now to protect your property. The toll-free number and Web site provide flood insurance resources and information, including tools to find an agent and estimate the cost of insurance premiums.
Finally, if you know someone that was affected by recent flooding as a result of T.S Lee please visit this article (see link below) which states that residents in Montgomery Co. can apply for aide.