Harrisburg, PA – The Wolf Administration will host a live Twitter chat to help Pennsylvanians prepare for and protect themselves against the flood risks associated with hurricanes and other natural disasters. PEMA, the departments of Community and Economic Development, Environmental Protection, and Insurance will outline the various risks that hurricane season can present and provide residents with steps that can be taken to prepare for a storm and actions that should be followed in the aftermath. The agencies will host the #FloodRisk101 Twitter chat, 2 p.m., Tuesday, July 16.
“The insurance department is dedicated to educating Pennsylvanians about flood insurance options and how best to protect their homes and businesses before and after a storm,” said Insurance Commissioner Jessica Altman. “We see a lot of flooding outside of Special Flood Hazard Areas, locations designated by the federal government as at higher risk of flooding, every year and hear stories from homeowners and business owners who suffered significant losses that were not covered because they did not have flood insurance.”
From 1993 to 2018, 94 percent of flooding incidents reported to the National Weather Service them were from outside federally designated flood zones. The northeastern United States leads the county with a 74 percent increase in heavy rain events, defined as more than two inches of rain in two days, over the past 50 years. Higher intensity weather is expected to continue.
“We’re seeing more flooding in areas that haven’t experienced it in the past,” said PEMA Acting Director Randy Padfield. “We all need to be ready for potential flooding, and the steps you take ahead of a flood can directly affect how your family can or cannot recover quickly.”
DEP’s Flood Protection Program responds to requests from municipalities, county, state, and federal officials and private residents to investigate flood problems in Pennsylvania and determine feasibility of providing solutions.
“A flood can take place at any time, and the effects of climate change will continue to make storms more frequent and more intense, making flood preparation even more critical. That’s why flood preparedness and prevention efforts are critical to have in place before a single rain drop falls,” said DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell. “There are many ways that individuals and communities can prepare for flooding and take steps to prevent or reduce the impact of floods and DEP is pleased to answer questions about this during this Twitter chat.”
“For our communities to grow and thrive, we need to make sure our local governments and residents know about the dangers of flooding and the resources available to prevent it,” DCED Secretary Dennis Davin said. “DCED plays an important role through providing financial and technical assistance for projects that can guard against flooding or help repair damage after flooding occurs. We’re excited to share this information that will help make our communities safer and grow local economies.
“The goal of the Twitter chat is to highlight the various resources available to Pennsylvanians to help them better protect themselves, their property and businesses,” Altman said. “One of the main factors the department wants consumers to understand, is it doesn’t take a major body of water, or even a major storm, to cause a flood. Anything from a broken sewer line to a slow-moving rainstorm can cause flooding.”
Participants can join the conversation by following @ReadyPA (PEMA), @PADCEDnews (DCED), @PennsylvaniaDEP (DEP) and @PAInsuranceDept (Insurance) and by using the hashtag #FloodRisk101.
Information on both National Flood Insurance Program and private insurance is available on the Insurance Department’s one-stop flood insurance webpage at www.insurance.pa.gov.