National Flood Awareness Week: Keeping you and loved ones safe

By Erika Mahoney

March 17, 2014 Updated Mar 17, 2014 at 10:46 PM EDT

(WBNG Binghamton) Flooding can happen anytime and anywhere in the United States.
The Twin Tiers are no stranger to that disaster. Vivid nightmares of the flooding from Tropical Storm Lee still rest in the minds of many.
"I had to go and survey, do flood surveys, around the Susquehanna," National Weather Service Hydrologist Jim Brewster said. "And I have never seen that kind of damage from any weather event before and I've done tornado surveys in the plains."

National Flood Awareness Week, March 16 - 22, aims to better protect people from the extremely damaging natural disaster.

Monday was dedicated to awareness. Officials promote three ways to stay mindful.

"One of the things we like to say is 'know your number'," Brewster said referring to what water lever is cause for concern.
If you live near a river, there's a tool on the National Weather Service website that displays how far water will reach based on how high the river is. To find that tool, click here. On the lower left side of the page, under 'Hydrologic Resources', click "Inundation Mapping Locations." From there you can zoom in to the Binghamton area. Click on one of the blue pins, and then mouseover the values on the left.

Another tip is to make sure you have a three-day survival kit and to always listen to officials during an emergency.

Brewster said Tuesday will focus on the program "Turn Around, Don't Drown." That program advises people to not drive through flooded streets.

Wednesday and Thursday will focus on online tools for flood preparedness. Friday will discuss how the National Weather Service gets their data for forecasting.

While natural disasters are unavoidable, getting caught unprepared in them is and that's what this week is all about.

For more information on National Flood Awareness Week, click here.

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