gmhTODAY 23 gmhTODAY Dec Jan 2018 - Page 58

City Beat Did you know? Floods are the most common natural disaster in the United States. And with winter on the horizon, it is time to start preparing for winter storms and possible fl ooding. Gilroy has a history of fl ooding, mitigated by the Uvas Creek Levee which runs from approximately Santa Teresa Boulevard and Third Street to the Gilroy Sports Park. The levee greatly decreases fl ood risk in Gilroy. However, there is still the chance that with high levels of rain, the creek will fi ll to capacity and fl ooding may occur. This fl ooding scenario typically starts at the southern end of the levee at the Gilroy Sports Park. To fi nd out if your home is located in a potential fl ood area, enter your address into the Fema Flood Map Service Center’s online portal at https://msc.fema.gov/portal. In addition, localized fl ooding can take place anywhere if complications arise such as a downed tree or a clogged drain. We recommend all residents take the following steps to prepare for resilience this winter season: Take These Simple Steps & Prepare NOW! ❏ Clear the drains and gutters of any blockage. ❏ Check to see if your home or business is located in a fl ood zone: https://msc.fema.gov/portal. ❏ Be aware of and sign up for the City’s Emergency Communication Channels. ❏ Learn and practice evacuation routes, shelter plans, and fl ash fl ood response. ❏ Pack an emergency supply kit. Keep in mind each person’s specifi c needs, including medication. Don’t forget the needs of pets. Obtain extra batteries and charging devices for phones and other critical equipment. ❏ Consider purchasing or renewing a fl ood insurance policy. It typically takes up to 30 days for a policy to go into effect and can protect the life you’ve built. Homeowner’s policies do not cover fl ooding. Get fl ood coverage under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). ❏ Keep important documents in a waterproof container. Create password-protected digital copies. ❏ Elevate the furnace, water heater, and electric panel if susceptible to fl ooding. 58 GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN december 2018-january 2019 gmhtoday.com