Safety and preparedness: Flash Flood Awareness Week is March 15-19

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(March 12, 2010)--The San Antonio Flood Emergency (SAFE) System will sponsor Flash Flood Awareness Week March 15-19. Coordinated by the City of San Antonio Office of Emergency Management, the public education and flood preparedness program provides early flood notification during heavy rain and provides information on ways to protect life and property.

The potential for serious flooding always exists in San Antonio because of the thin soil cover with rock underneath, which can absorb precipitation at only a slow rate. The SAFE System works with first responders, the National Weather Service, school districts, the business community, media, and neighborhood and apartment organizations to enhance emergency notification plans across Bexar County.

Floods are one of the most common hazards in the United States and can have an impact on neighborhoods and communities, or on a larger scale affecting river basins and multiple states. Some floods develop slowly, sometimes over a period of days, but flash floods can develop in just a few minutes and without any visible signs of rain. A flash flood often has a dangerous wall of roaring water that carries rocks, mud and other debris and can sweep away most things in its path.

Every state is at risk for floods. Be aware of flood hazards no matter where you live, but especially if you live in a low-lying area, near water or downstream from a dam. Even small streams, gullies, creeks, culverts, dry streambeds or low ground that appear harmless in dry weather can flood.

>> Read more at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Web site.