State launches public awareness campaign on flooding danger

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Dangerous flash floods are all too common in Arizona and they can develop without warning. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5, MCSO, Amy Lloyd) Dangerous flash floods are all too common in Arizona and they can develop without warning. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5, MCSO, Amy Lloyd)
PHOENIX (AP) -

State officials are launching a campaign to make Arizonans aware of the year-round risk of flooding, particularly during the monsoon.

Director Wendy Smith-Reeve of the Arizona Division of Emergency Management says most people know Arizona has wildfires but that flooding is the most expensive and destructive disaster facing the state.

Smith-Reeve says all of Arizona is vulnerable to flooding and that residents should take steps to prepare and reduce the risk.

"Many know Arizona as a wildfire state, but flooding is the most destructive and expensive disaster we face," said Smith-Reeve. "All of Arizona is vulnerable to flooding. We must all prepare for it, and take steps to reduce the risk."

[SPECIAL SECTION: Arizona Monsoon 2017]

Flooding is not isolated to river basins or in regions that get a lot of rain and snow; it can happen anywhere, from rural towns to metropolitan cities. Flooding causes millions of dollars in damage to infrastructure and personal property each year, as well as posing a risk to public safety.

The Division of Emergency Management is part of the Department of Emergency and Military Affairs, which says its public awareness campaign titled "Anytime, Anywhere" will include billboards, social media, websites and flyers.

The department advises residents to prepare emergency supply kits and family communication plans and to keep up on local hazards and emergency plans for work and school.

Families who prepare for emergencies are more resilient in their response and recovery when a disaster strikes. Arizonans are encouraged to take the following preparedness steps to stay safe:

  • Make a Family Communication Plan that includes an out-of-town contact and evacuation route.
  • Build an emergency supplies kit with enough food, water and daily medication(s) to last at least three days. Create a smaller, travel-sized kit that you can take in the event of an evacuation.
  • Be informed of local hazards and emergency plans at your work and your child’s school. Contact your local emergency management office and sign up to receive emergency notifications.
  • Inspire others by your positive preparedness example.

For more information on how you can prepare for and mitigate against the potential impacts of flooding, visit FloodSafeAZ.org.

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