How do you prepare when coastal flooding hits? News 12's Meredith Garofalo has some tips

News 12 Storm Watch team meteorologist Meredith Garofalo says everyone needs to know the difference between a coastal flood watch and a warning.

News 12 Staff

Mar 17, 2022, 2:36 AM

Updated 851 days ago


Living along the coast has beautiful views of the waterfront, but it also faces the threat of coastal flooding.
The reality still hits hard for business owner Chris Squeri who suffered heavy damage during Superstorm Sandy.
"Where we had 40 to 42 inches of water in our home, the marinas had some structural damage and our restaurant on the mile burned to the ground," Squeri says.
Flood Safety Awareness Week: How can you prepare to protect yourself?
An increase in storms that are producing dangerous flooding is serving as a reminder for residents to be prepared before a major weather event happens.
Village of Freeport Mayor Robert Kennedy says they installed pumping stations that prevents the streets from flooding.
"We actually put check valves in to prevent the ocean waters from coming back into the streets," Kennedy says.
News 12 Storm Watch team meteorologist Meredith Garofalo says everyone needs to know the difference between a coastal flood watch and a warning. A watch means you need to be ready to take action and when a warning is given, you need to immediately protect life and property.
It's also important to make sure your flood insurance is active and to take precautions such as boarding up windows near the ground and putting out sandbags.
Residents near flood zones should also know where to go if they are told to evacuate.

Bullet Points from Nelson Vaz, of NOAA

Before the season:

• Know your risk - Are you in a flood zone? What evacuation zone are you in?
• Develop an evacuation plan.
• Have a go bag.
• Where are you going to go? Coastal evacuation routes
• Have a few options.
• Pets
• Disaster supply kit.
• Enough water, non-perishable food, and medicine for at least three days for each person.
• Battery-powered radio and flashlight - Power outages could last weeks.
• Check your insurance (car and home)
• Flood insurance
• Strengthen your home

During the season:

• Know if your location is prone to coastal flooding. At what water level does your area flood? Do certain wind and wave conditions make it better or worse?
• Stay weather aware. Monitor for coastal flood watch, warning and advisory alerts for your area.
• Heed evacuation orders from local officials! NWS NY provides weather support to emergency managers and public safety officials ahead of an impending coastal flood event to help inform their community preparedness and evacuation decisions.

During a coastal flood event:

• Listen to TV/Radio, EAS, NOAA Weather Radio or local alerting systems for current emergency information and instructions regarding flooding.
• Evacuate immediately, if told to evacuate. Use coastal evacuations routes. Never drive around barricades. Local responders use them to safely direct traffic out of flooded areas.
• Do not walk, swim or drive through flood waters. The water may be deeper than it appears, or the road beneath may be washed out. Turn around - don't drown!
• Be especially cautious at night when it is harder to recognize the dangers of coastal floods.
• Stay inside your car if it is trapped in rapidly moving water. Get on the roof if water is rising inside the car.
• Get to the highest level if trapped in a building. Only get on the roof if necessary and once there, signal for help. Do not climb into a closed attic to avoid getting trapped by rising floodwater.

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