Hurricane Season and Flood Awareness
The warm weather of summer brings with it the start of another change in weather commonly known as “hurricane season”. During this six-month period from June through November, the likelihood for hurricanes and tropical storms that impact the eastern United States is extremely high. While hurricane events in Prince George’s County are quite rare, the possibility of associated tropical storms, intense thunderstorms, and flood events are very real.
Residents and business owners located near a stream may wish to take measures to safeguard against potential losses associated with flooding. The Prince George’s County Department of Environmental Resources (DER) has a number of services available to assist local home and business owners with information about how to reduce the likelihood of flood losses. DER administers a comprehensive floodplain management program that includes: technical assistance to property owners with flooding and drainage problems, construction of capital projects to alleviate drainage and flooding problems (drainage systems, floodwalls, stormwater management ponds, levees), administration of a floodplain/stormwater management ordinance to prevent building in the floodplain and reduce the effects of development on “downstream” properties, dissemination of floodplain information to residents, businesses, lenders and insurance companies, and participation in the National Flood Insurance Program/Community Rating System which enables County residents to purchase flood insurance at a reduced rate.
A review of the floodplain studies prepared by FEMA and DER can determine if your property is located in or near the floodplain. Perhaps the single most important measure that owners of flood prone property can make is to purchase flood insurance. To obtain additional information on the location of your property as it relates to the floodplain, call the Department of Public Works and Transportation at (301) 883-5777. For more information on how to obtain flood insurance call the National Flood Insurance Program at (800) 427-4661. Information on flood insurance, flood safety tips, flood and disaster preparedness can also be found on the FEMA website at www.fema.gov and at the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) website. Although flooding and other natural disasters can strike at any time, advance planning and preparedness will go a long way in reducing the impacts of a natural disaster.