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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

I’ll Have Flood Preparedness, Á la Mode

March 14 is celebrated by TI-82 calculators, compass makers, Archimedes’ devotees alike as “Pi Day.” That’s Pi (π) as in 3.14159265, as in the reason for high-school night terrors and cold sweats.

The significance, never mind the existence, of Pi Day would be lost on a past English major like I were it not for the curious custom of eating actual pie, a tradition that catapulted Pi Day to among my favorite quasi “holidays” right after End of the Middle Ages Day on May 29.
Comparatively, Flood Safety Awareness Week (March 15 to 21) is decidedly less delicious. It’s unfortunate, but Flood Safety Awareness Week shares no titular likeness with anything in the dessert case. Rather, Flood Safety Awareness Week centers on the risks of and truths about flooding.

What Flood Safety Awareness Week does serve is actionable information on flood preparedness and identifying neighborhood flood hazards, the value of flood insurance, and tips for safe and responsible driving.

This year, the National Flood Insurance Program, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) collaborated on an interactive website,, with information about the financial costs of flooding, how to get a policy and how to best recover after a flood.

Per usual, the all-hazard readiness messages of “Prepare a Plan,” “Make a Kit” and “Be Informed” are also applicable when talking flood preparedness.

As it relates to floods, part of emergency planning is having the insurance to cover losses caused by flooding. Because most homeowners’ insurance policies don’t cover flood damage, FEMA recommends looking into flood insurance for your home and belongings.

There’s plenty more information available on what it means to be ready for flooding. You can start with visits to the Arizona Emergency Information Network (AzEIN) at and FloodSmart at

Preparedness information doesn’t dazzle the taste buds like a slice of coconut cream pie, but, when applied, it can make a big difference in the event of a flood.
So, let’s give Flood Safety Awareness Week its due, and hope against hope that someone, somewhere, sometime thinks of a baked good accompaniment.

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