Delaware Flood Awareness Week: Stay Safe and Protect Your Property from Climate Change-Induced Flooding

Flooding in DelawareImage via Delaware's Division of Community Affairs

DELAWARE — In conjunction with the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) and the Delaware Emergency Management Agency (DEMA) within the Department of Safety and Homeland Security, Governor John Carney has proclaimed May 15 to 19 as Delaware Flood Awareness Week. The goal is to better inform residents about flood risk, likelihood of flooding from extreme weather events brought on by climate change, the importance of having a flood insurance policy, and about flood remediation for addressing property damage or loss.

“Unfortunately, extreme weather events are becoming more common in Delaware,” said Governor Carney. “We want to make sure that Delawareans stay safe and are prepared for unexpected flood events. I want to thank DNREC and DEMA for their partnership in Flood Awareness Week and urge Delawareans to learn more about the risks of flooding and ways to prepare for extreme weather.”

In Delaware, the most prominent impacts of climate change are sea level rise, increased temperatures and changes in precipitation patterns, including extreme weather events and flooding. Delaware’s Climate Action Plan is a resource for how the state can better prepare to deal with these impacts.

Throughout the Delaware Flood Awareness Week, DNREC and DEMA are also partnering with other organizations including the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the University of Delaware to highlight numerous other resources for flood awareness in Delaware, to include flood risk training, an interactive quiz, and a floodplain mapping tool.

“We can sound the alarm that extreme weather events are getting worse every year and that flood risk is greater than ever before in Delaware,” said DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin. “But action begins with awareness and in acknowledging that we’re up against it as the lowest-lying state – increasingly vulnerable to flooding from one end of the state to the other and on our coasts as well. The Governor’s proclaiming another Flood Awareness Week is outreach that speaks both to the urgency of the situation and to what Delawareans can do in confronting what the future will bring. Preparedness has many hats – from having a flood insurance policy, to using the state’s new flood planning tool, to commencing new home construction where appropriately sited. Flood Awareness Week covers all that and can be of benefit for public health and safety, regardless of whether a resident is a property owner or renter.”

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“Floods are one of the most common hazards across the country. Flooding can happen quickly, and we must be aware of changing conditions and our surroundings. It is important for Delaware residents to stay safe by being proactive and knowing what to do and staying aware of flood risks in their communities,” said Department of Safety and Homeland Security Secretary Nathaniel McQueen Jr.

On Friday, May 12, DNREC is a partner in presenting a pre-Flood Awareness week kickoff event, “Creating a Flood-Ready Community” offered in conjunction with the University of Delaware’s Institute for Public Administration, Delaware Sea Grant and the DNREC Coastal Training Program. The course, to be held in person at DNREC’s St. Jones Coastal Training Center in the Kitts Hummock community, covers basic risk and hazard concepts, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) mapping, the Delaware flood insurance program, tools to prevent hazards in a cost-effective manner, and strategies for reducing exposure. For more information, visit de.gov/dnrecmeetings.

On, Monday, May 15, the second annual Delaware Flood Awareness Week formally begins with DNREC and DEMA highlighting preparedness with an interactive quiz and social media content. The quiz and much more information about flood awareness can be found at de.gov/floodrisk.

Also on May 15, DNREC’s Coastal Training Program and the University of Delaware Center for Environmental Monitoring and Analysis will offer demonstrations of coastal monitoring tools used to monitor weather and flooding along Delaware’s coasts. The virtual training session will be presented twice, from 1 to 2:30 p.m. and from 6 to 7:30 p.m.

Delaware Flood Awareness Week seeks to help the public become better informed about flood insurance, which provides policy holders with financial security and ensures quick recovery of personal property from flood damage.

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An article, “Flooding – What You Can Do” published in the Outdoor Delaware online magazine explains what Delawareans can do to protect against flooding. DNREC also provides the Delaware Flood Planning Tool app, which can be used to quickly determine flood risk for a particular property and is found at de.gov/floodplanning.

DNREC’s and DEMA’s shared social media message for awareness week is “Anywhere it rains, it can flood. Know your flood risk. Use the Delaware Flood Planning Tool to view other flood risk information for your property.”

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