FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va. – In the United States flooding is the most common and costly natural disaster and is becoming more frequent with climate change. As we head into the typical rainy season, Fairfax County and Arlington County are teaming up during Flood Awareness Week to get out key messages about the importance of being informed and prepared.
Flood Awareness Week, held from March 13 – 19 this year in Virginia, stresses personal safety with the “Turn Around Don’t Drown®” campaign. The National Weather Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration report more than half of all flood-related drownings happen when motorists attempt to drive through flood water, followed by the number of deaths that occur when people walk into or too close to flood water.
Just 1 inch of water can result in as much as $25 thousand dollars damage to a home. Yet only 3% of Virginians have flood insurance. Another goal of Flood Awareness Week is to educate and inform the public about protecting their property by purchasing a flood insurance policy, which on average in Virginia costs between $400 and $1000 annually. It is also crucial for residents and property owners to know if they are in a flood hazard area.
Some additional tips for protecting property include:
- Cleaning gutters and downspouts can help water drain away from structures.
- Keeping storm drains clear of debris enables water to drain away from property during heavy rainfall.
- Investing in a sump pump can help remove water that may accumulate in a home during a storm.
- Check your home for water entry points. During a flood, water may enter through basement windows, basement stairwells, doors, dryer vents or cracks and gaps in the foundation. Some of these can be repaired or protected with low walls or temporary shields.
- Consider installing a sanitary sewer backflow valve to prevent sewer backup flooding.
- Make sure landscaping slopes away from the foundation to keep water from getting in when it rains.
- Check fencing to make sure it is high enough off the ground to allow water to flow out of the yard.
To understand more about floodplain areas in Fairfax and Arlington counties, visit:
For additional information on a flood resiliency plans in Fairfax and Arlington counties, visit:
To learn more about flood insurance visit https://www.floodsmart.gov or speak with your homeowner’s insurance agent.