Nation's No. 1 disaster could be waiting at your door
In the last 10 years this natural disaster has cost $24.5 billion dollars in losses nationally. Depending on the location of your home, you could have a 26 percent chance of experiencing damages from this hazard over the 30-year life of your mortgage. By national average, your home has just a 1-2 percent chance of a large house fire over that same period. If you have a mortgage you likely have fire insurance, you may even have smoke detectors. This is all in preparation for an event that has a 1- 2 percent chance of occurring.
But have you assessed your risk of getting caught up in flooding – the nation’s number one disaster?
There are a number of ways to assess your flood risk. Perhaps the best is to check flood maps that are available at the Idaho Department of Water Resources Web site: http://maps.idwr.idaho.gov/floodhazard
One-hundred year flood
Watch vs. warning
Assemble a disaster supplies kit: Your kit should contain those items that you may need during an evacuation or extended loss of utilities. Some basic items include a first aid kit, food and& water, personal medications, battery operated radio for the latest storm information, flashlight and extra batteries and cash. Store your kit in an easy to carry container in a convenient, easily accessible place known to all family members.
Purchase a tone-activated weather alert radio: The warning for a flash flood could be as little as five minutes. A tone-activated weather alert radio will instantly alert you of a Flash Flood Warning that has been issued by the National Weather Service. They are available through many of the electronics retailers.
Purchase flood insurance: In deciding whether you need flood insurance it is best to use common sense more than the letter of the law. Most homeowners policies do not include flooding as part of the coverage. You should examine your risk and consult your insurance agent. Nationally, 25 percent of all flood insurance claims come from homes with a low to moderate risk. There is normally a 30-day waiting period for a flood policy to take effect, so plan ahead.
For more information about measures you can take to prepare for flooding, contact the Ada City-County Emergency Management office, 577-4750 (in the Boise area) or your respective county emergency management office.
See the March 2008 Emergency Preparedness Pointers: http://www.accem.org/pointers/eppmar08.pdf