YORK, Pa. — As we head into spring and thunderstorm season, officials at the National Weather Service and the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency are urging Pennsylvanians to make sure they have a plan in place should a flooding event occur.
This week, the two agencies are marking Flood Awareness Week in Pennsylvania to do just that.
Last year's tropical season proved that flooding can cause a big impact, with rainfall from the remnants of Hurricane Ida causing major flooding across the state.
So how can you and your family best prepare for a flood?
Before a flood:
- Know your flood risk
- Assemble an emergency kit
- Check your homeowners insurance
- Prepare your family and pets in case you need to evacuate
During a flood:
- Stay informed with the forecast from weather radios, FOX43 on air and on your phone, etc.
- Move to higher ground if necessary
- Do not drive or walk through flooded roadways -- turn around, don't drown!
After a flood:
- Stay informed from local officials about current conditions
- Avoid flood waters and disaster areas
- Wait for the all clear before entering an area
- Check in with family and loved ones
Warning Coordination Meteorologist Jonathan Guseman from the National Weather Service in State College tells FOX43 that most flood deaths and injuries occur from people driving vehicles through flooded areas.
“A lot of flood deaths and injuries and fatalities occur from folks trying to drive through flooded roadways or not being able to tell how deep the water is," says Guseman. "So the turn around don't drown slogan is really one we promote in terms of that. So seeking an alternate route if you can’t tell. We’ve seen numerous instances where folks just, they think they can get through it and they can’t, even in a larger, say, pickup truck.”