Pierce County: Prepare today for flood season

The rain, fog and falling leaves mean that fall is here and winter is not far behind. Pierce County residents should prepare now for flood season to keep their families and property safe.

“By now, people have pulled out their coats, sweaters, and hats because of the change in weather,” said Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy. “However, getting ready for winter weather is about more than staying warm – it’s about preparing yourself, your property and your family. To get ready for flood season, property owners are encouraged to purchase flood insurance, keep storm drains near their homes and businesses clear of debris, and store valuables and household chemicals above flood levels.”

Pierce County residents are also encouraged to create a family plan that includes identifying a safe route from their home, school and work to high ground, setting a meeting place for family members in case of separation, and designating an out-of-state contact to call if local lines are busy or down.

An emergency kit should include at least a seven-day supply of food and water, first aid supplies, extra clothing and blankets, prescription medicine, and hygiene and sanitation supplies. Additional information can be found online at piercecountywa.org/prepare.

More than 17,000 residents who live or own property near flood hazard areas within unincorporated Pierce County will soon receive the county’s annual Flood Bulletin in the mail. The bulletin provides information on flood protection and preparedness, such as the county’s Flood Warning System and emergency contact information; actions that property owners can take to avoid flood disaster – before, during, and after a flood; and flood insurance facts and how to purchase flood insurance.

The bulletin is also available online at piercecountywa.org/flood, by calling (253) 798-2725, or emailing pcwater@co.pierce.wa.us.

The Puyallup River in Pierce County floods following a January 2009 storm. (PHOTO COURTESY PIERCE COUNTY)

The Puyallup River in Pierce County floods following a January 2009 storm. (PHOTO COURTESY PIERCE COUNTY)