Flood Havoc Threatens Lives and Homes — Help People and Pets Survive
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We must protect our families and our pets from devastating disasters. Take the pledge to help people and pets impacted by flood!
Flooding is a major concern for many communities in the United States in coastal and low-lying areas. These areas are vulnerable to the impacts of flooding, which can cause extensive damage to homes, businesses, and infrastructure.
The Gulf Coast of Texas, Louisiana, and Florida are vulnerable to flooding. This region is frequently hit by hurricanes and tropical storms, which can cause significant damage and widespread flooding. In addition, much of this area is located at or near sea level, which increases the risk of storm surge and flooding1.
Another area of the U.S. that is vulnerable to flooding is the Midwest in states such as Missouri, Illinois, and Indiana. This region is frequently hit by heavy rainfall and flooding caused by the melting of snow and ice in the spring and early summer. The flat topography of the Midwest, combined with the large number of rivers and streams in the region, increases the risk of flooding in this area2.
The Northeastern U.S., including states such as New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts, is also at risk of flooding. This region is vulnerable to coastal and riverine flooding, especially during heavy rainfall events and high tides. The densely populated coastal areas and the aging infrastructure in the Northeast make this region susceptible to the impacts of flooding3.
The Pacific Northwest, including states such as Washington and Oregon, is also vulnerable to flooding, along the coast and in low-lying areas near rivers and streams. This region is prone to heavy rainfall and intense storms, which can cause flooding in coastal and low-lying areas. In addition, the topography of the Pacific Northwest is dominated by steep mountain ranges and deep valleys, which can channel water into low-lying areas and cause widespread flooding4.
The South Atlantic region of the U.S., including states such as North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia, is also vulnerable to flooding. This region is prone to coastal and riverine flooding, during heavy rainfall events and high tides. The South Atlantic region is also home to many important ports, including the Port of Charleston and the Port of Savannah, which can be severely impacted by flooding5.
Floods can have a significant impact on families with pets, as they can cause harm to both people and animals. Families may be forced to evacuate their homes, and they may not be able to bring their pets with them6. This can lead to separation anxiety for both people and animals and can also result in the loss of pets if they are not able to be evacuated.
Floodwater can contain toxic substances and contaminants, such as sewage, chemicals, and pollutants, which can pose serious health risks to both people and animals7. Floods can also cause physical harm to pets. Strong currents, debris, and unstable ground can pose risks to animals during a flood, and they may be injured or lost8.
Even before waters recede, a flood can result in significant financial strain for families, as they may need to pay for veterinary care, boarding, or other expenses related to their pets. A flood can also mean the loss of shelter for pets, as many pet owners may be unable to provide adequate housing after their homes are damaged by floods9.
If you live in an area prone to flooding, it is important to be prepared and take steps to protect your home, family, and pets in case of a flood.
Help make a difference. Take the flood preparation pledge and keep yourself and others safe during a disaster!
- Alexis C. Madrigal, The Atlantic (29 August 2017), "Why the Gulf Coast Is Uniquely Vulnerable to Disasters."
- National Environmental Satellite Data and Information Service, Department of Commerce (4 August 2022), "Kentucky and Missouri Devastated by Flash Flooding."
- Daniel Manzo, ABCNews (17 July 2021), "Over 55 million Americans at risk for flash flooding this weekend."
- Monica Samayoa, OPB (15 February 2021), "Study: Warmer weather will increase flooding in the Columbia River Basin this century."
- South Atlantic Water Science Center, USGS (18 July 2018), PUBLICATION (18 July 2018), "Flood-Inundation mapping in Georgia, North and South Carolina."
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (4 October 2022), "Floodwater After a Disaster or Emergency."
- Jane J. Lee, National Geographic (28 May 2015), "Texas, Oklahoma Floodwaters Contain Sewage, Other Pollutants."
- Texas Animal Health Commission (August 2017), "Flooding: Animal Health Concerns."
- Erica Kritt, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (23 February 2018), "9 financial problems after a natural disaster—and what you can do about them."
I understand that flooding is a major concern for many communities in the United States, and can cause extensive damage to homes, businesses, and infrastructure.
As such, I pledge to take the following actions to protect people and pets during a flood:
- Prepare an emergency kit
Make sure you have a complete emergency kit on hand, including food, water, first aid supplies, flashlights, and extra batteries. Don't forget to include essentials for your pets, such as food and water bowls, leashes, and medications.
- Develop an evacuation plan
If a flood is imminent, you may need to evacuate your home. Plan ahead by identifying evacuation routes, safe places to stay, and alternate routes in case roads are blocked. Make sure everyone in your household knows what to do in case of a flood.
- Elevate important items
Consider elevating important items such as electrical panels, water heaters, and appliances to protect them from flood damage.
- Install check valves
Check valves can help prevent floodwater from entering your home through plumbing and sewer lines.
- Protect windows and doors
Installing flood barriers, such as sandbags or flood gates, can help protect windows and doors from flooding.
- Store important documents
Keep important documents, such as insurance policies, personal identification, and financial records, in a safe and secure place that is not prone to flooding.
- Know your flood zone
Understanding your flood zone and the level of risk in your area can help you make informed decisions about how to protect your home and family from flood damage.
- Purchase flood insurance
Flood insurance can help protect your home and assets in case of a flood. Consider purchasing flood insurance even if you are not required to, as standard homeowner's insurance does not cover flood damage.
- Maintain your home
Regular maintenance of your home, such as cleaning gutters and downspouts and making sure there are no cracks in your foundation, can help reduce the risk of flood damage.
- Stay informed
Stay informed about local weather conditions and flood warnings by listening to local radio or television stations or visiting the National Weather Service website.
Floods can cause significant damage to homes, businesses, and communities. But by taking these steps, I can help protect my home, family, pets and others in my community in case of a flood.