“Most people don’t realize that floods kill more people here in Georgia than any other natural disaster,” said Tim Herrington, Floyd County Emergency Management Agency deputy director.
Flooding is another Severe Weather Awareness Week topic that comes on the heels of a recent local disaster.
After September 2009 rains inundated Floyd and North Georgia, 17 counties — including Chattooga, Bartow, Walker and Catoosa — received federal disaster declarations. The floods caused 10 deaths and an estimated $250 million in damage statewide, according to the Georgia Emergency Management Agency website, www.ready.ga.gov.
While floods of that magnitude are rare, officials said Georgians should be mindful of floods and flash floods, as only fire is a more common and widespread natural disaster.
Flash floods are caused by heavy or excessive rainfall over a short span of time, while floods are the rising of an existing waterway and often are a longer term event than flash floods.
Floyd is especially susceptible to flooding because of its rivers, Herrington said.
As with other disasters, Herrington advises residents to keep up with severe weather warnings and prepare a family evacuation plan.
One way to keep up with forecasts is with NOAA weather radios. The FCEMA had planned on giving some away today, but heavy turnout at giveaways Wednesday and Thursday distributed all 1,000 radios available for local residents.
Another 300 radios equipped to vibrate and activate a strobe light will still be given away to hearing-impaired county residents Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Cave Spring Fire Station, 123 Fincher St.
The Rome News-Tribune will be spotlighting emergency preparedness tips each day in conjunction with Severe Weather Awareness Week. Here’s what’s coming:
Sunday: Severe Weather Awareness Week
Monday: Family preparedness
Tuesday: Thunderstorm safety
Wednesday: Tornado drill
Today: Lightning safety
Friday: Flood safety