Flooding is the most prevalent threat facing Schuylkill County.
Understand the flood threat in your community, along your travel routes and where your work.
Flooding events have long plagued many communities within Schuylkill County, especially those areas along the three branches of the Schuylkill River, the Mill Creek and Swatara Creek. The threats are recognized; however, there is no quick fix to alleviate the problem in the short term. The long term solutions will require cooperation among local governments, county, state and federal agencies and departments, developers, landowners and business and industry. Additionally, each proposed solution will require a funding source in order to carry out the implementation of the project.
With the understanding that we can expect no immediate solutions to the multitude of flooding issues across Schuylkill County, we encourage the building of community resiliency to minimize impact and speed along the recovery within the affected areas. This resiliency is a community effort and begins with you taking the first steps to improve conditions at your home or business, the local government improving infrastructure and seeking financial assistance when possible and the larger community coming together as volunteer groups of neighbors helping neighbors get through the difficult times.
If your community has experienced significant flooding in previous events, your municipal leaders, emergency manager, public works staff and emergency services are most likely aware of the potential consequences of a heavy rainfall. The preparation you do now and the actions of your local officials may minimize the threats to life and the disruption to normal operations within your community.
Flood Insurance is available to EVERY PROPERTY OWNER, RENTER AND BUSINESS, IN EVERY MUNICIPALITY WITHIN SCHUYLKILL COUNTY, AS EACH MUNICIPALITY PARTICIPATES IN THE NATIONAL FLOOD INSURANCE PROGRAM (NFIP). If an insurance agent tells you that flood insurance is not available, they are mistaken or misinformed!
- Standard insurance policies do not cover flooding, but flood insurance is available for homeowners, renters and business owners through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
- Know your flood risk. Learn if you live, work or travel through areas that are prone to flooding.
- To help communities understand their risk of flooding, FEMA creates flood maps (Flood Insurance Rate Maps, or FIRMs) to show the locations of high-risk, moderate-to- low-risk and undetermined risk areas.
- To check your flood risk, look up your address in the FEMA Flood Map Service Center.
- Take photos and videos to conduct a household inventory, and keep a record of all major household items and valuables. These documents are critically important when filing insurance claims.
HOW TO STAY SAFE WHEN FLOODS THREATEN
- Know your area’s risk for flooding. Schuylkill County has experienced significant flooding events during all seasons across many municipalities.
- Sign up for Schuylkill Alert, your county’s warning system.
- The Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) can be received through you cellular phone if you are in areas under a warning. Please insure that the alert feature is not de-activated on your device.
- The Emergency Alert System (EAS) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio also provide emergency alerts.
- Many media outlets also feature mobile alerts to your smart phone, consider signing up for the service.
- Identify local shelters that may be put into use by your municipality during flooding or other events.
- Do not drive through flood waters - TURN AROUND, DON'T DROWN!
- Avoid waking or wading through flood waters, as the water may be contaminated with fuel oils, gasoline, septic and sewage waste, household chemicals, animal waste.
- Moving flood waters can knock a person from their feet, move a vehicle and hide dangerous debris that could cause serious injury.
- Pay attention to weather reports and warnings of heavy rain, flooding or flash flood.
Be Safe AFTER
- Listen to authorities and weather forecasts for information on whether it is safe to go outside and instructions regarding potential flash flooding.
- Watch for fallen power lines and trees. Report them immediately.
- Be cautious of debris that may have been deposited around your house or neighborhood.
- Report debris blocking or obstructing drain pipes, culverts or bridges over waterways/
- Stay out of flood waters and do not allow children to play in the flood water.
- Monitor local news about possible damage to sewage treatment plants.
- Be aware of "boil water advisories" from your water supplier.
- If you have a well that was over-topped by flood water, have the quality of your water checked.
- If a vehicle is in flood waters, Call 911 immediately and await the arrival of first responders.
Additional safety measures can be found at https://www.ready.gov.