Tips to stay safe when a flood strikes home - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Tips to stay safe when a flood strikes home

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Dougherty County's Code Red program warns you if a flood is on it's way Dougherty County's Code Red program warns you if a flood is on it's way
Floods can create dangerous conditions and cost your thousands of dollars Floods can create dangerous conditions and cost your thousands of dollars
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ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

Officials have been stressing all week the importance of being prepared when a natural disaster hits home but many people can remember a time when Dougherty County and surrounding areas weren't as prepared as we needed to be.

When flood waters rose in July of 1994, Albany wasn't prepared to deal with the 500 year flood. Five people died and 20,000 more were evacuated. Since then we've smarted up. First responders have figured out better ways to warn their residents, and folks have started to take their advice.

Dougherty County's Emergency Management Agency now has better resources like their Code Red Program which is a high-speed telephone Emergency Notification System that allows first responders to telephone targeted areas in the county in case of an emergency situation that requires you to take immediate action.

"On our web site we have under the fire department we put a section on destructive weather and in there is things like tornadoes, thunderstorms, hurricanes, flooding but it also gives the siren sounds," says Dougherty County EMA Director Jim Vaught.

Officials say not only are you able to listen to examples of each weather warning siren, but you're are able to sign up for the Code Red phone call alerts. All you have to do is visit Albany.ga.us go to the Albany Fire Department section and click the Code Red icon. There you can fill in your contact info and select which type of weather notification you'd like to receive.

Officials say when preparing for dangerous flood conditions to make sure to water-proof all your important documents. Also, when looking to buy or rent a home, try to steer clear of houses located in floodplains. Check to see if you need to purchase Flood insurance. You can do that by visiting www.floodsmart.gov to learn more about potential floor risk and how to apply for a plan through the National Flood Insurance Program.

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