HomeBusiness InsuranceWI Flood Safety Awareness Week: Feb. 25 - Mar. 2 | News

WI Flood Safety Awareness Week: Feb. 25 – Mar. 2 | News

As spring approaches, Wisconsin Emergency Management is reminding the public about the dangers of flooding and what to do during and after a flood.

MADISON (WKOW) — As spring approaches, Wisconsin Emergency Management is reminding the public about the dangers of flooding and what to do during and after a flood.


Feb. 25 through Mar. 2 is Flood Safety Awareness Week in Wisconsin.

“Flooding remains the most common natural disaster in Wisconsin, putting lives at risk and causing costly damage for property owners and local governments,” said Wisconsin Emergency Management Administrator Greg Engle in a statement. “During Flood Safety Awareness Week, we encourage everyone to take time to assess their flood risk and learn how to protect themselves before, during, and after a flood.”

The spring of 2023 saw historic flooding hit parts of Wisconsin, which forced roads to close and put communities in danger. As spring weather returns to the state, ReadyWisconsin asks everyone to plan for the possibility floodwaters will rise again.

There were 77 people killed in the U.S. in 2023 due to flooding, while 81% of flooding fatalities in Wisconsin occur when people enter flooded areas. There were no deaths caused by flooding last year in Wisconsin, according to Wisconsin Emergency Management. 

Officials say it’s always a good idea to be prepared for a worst-case scenario, which is why 27 News has compiled a list of preventative measures to take, in the event of a flood occurring.

Before a flood…

-Know your flood risk: assess the risk for flooding on your property. For example, do you live near a body of water, or in an area susceptible to flooding?

-Consider flood insurance: most homeowner, rental and business insurance policies don’t cover flooding. If you choose to insure, avoid procrastination. It typically takes 30 days for the coverage to take effect.

For more information on potential flood insurance options, you can visit the National Flood Insurance Program’s website.

-Build a “Go Kit”: food, water, cash, medications and water-proofed documents (e.g. personal identification, records, and other important personal pieces of info) are all items to keep in one’s inventory.

-Make an emergency plan: if you’re unable to make it home, or need to leave immediately, identify a meet-up spot for you and your family. You should also make a list of emergency numbers and important contacts.

-Keep water out of and away from your house: clean your gutters regularly, move downspout heads away from the house’s foundation, repair foundation cracks, improve grading to ensure water flows further away from your house, and be sure to cover your window wells.

-Move valuables out of the basement: elevate or flood-proof your appliances (washers, dryers, water heaters, and HVAC systems). Move your electrical outlets to three feet above the floor.

During and after a flood…

-Watch the weather: you can keep track of alerts via NOAA Weather Radio, trusted local news outlets and/or mobile weather apps

-Never drive or walk through flood areas: “Turn around, don’t drown!” Six inches is all it takes to topple — or 12 inches for small vehicles, 24 for large vehicles.

-Take steps to protect your health: stay out of floodwaters, as they can hold hazardous materials (e.g. bacterial-infested waste, sharp objects, hazardous chemicals, downed power lines, among other dangers).

-If your house is flooded, follow cleaning and disinfection guidelines to help prevent mold growth.

-If there’s a power outage beyond 4 hours, toss refrigerated goods and/or goods that have come into contact with the water.

-If your drinking well is flooded, disinfect and test it before drinking. 

-Lastly, if you’re using a generator, keep it outside at least 20 feet from your house to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning, which occurs in enclosed spaces.

If you’d like to learn more about flood safety, you can visit the ReadyWisconsin website. You can also visit their Facebook, X and Instagram pages for flood-related tips provided year-round.

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