NASHVILLE - The state of Tennessee is in the nation's top 20 when it comes to disaster declarations, and the majority of those disasters have involved flooding.
Tennessee ranks number 14 in the country for the most federally declared disasters since 1953 when the record-keeping began. FEMA records show 82 percent of Tennessee's registered disasters involved flooding. In the 1990's alone there were 10 flood-related disaster declarations in Tennessee.
"Tennessee has earned one of the top spots the hard way. Despite heroic efforts, this unfortunate history has cost lives and millions of dollars in unforgettable devastation," said Federal Coordinating Officer Gracia Szczech, "That's why FEMA is urging Tennesseans to make a different kind of resolution in the New Year and Resolve to be Ready in 2011."
Tennesseans can find ideas and information about putting together a family or business emergency communications plan as well as other suggestions by simply logging onto www.ready.gov. The three most important steps individuals can take now are to get a kit, make a plan and be informed.
Get a Kit
The emergency supply kit could include water, non-perishable food, flashlights, first aid items, prescription medications and copies of vital financial documents.
Make a Plan
Some ideas could include mapping out where your family will meet during or after an emergency, supplying everyone with complete contact information and having alternative lodging in place.
Learn about all the emergencies that could happen in Tennessee such as, earthquakes, tornadoes, radiological, biological or man-made disasters. Know how to respond to each of those situations.
At www.floodsmart.gov you will find tools to help gauge your risk of flooding. Enter your property address, and information can be quickly obtained on your flood risk assessment, how much a flood insurance policy might cost, and where to get it.
This holiday season please join FEMA's Ready Campaign and Resolve to be Ready in 2011. Encourage members of your family and community to make the resolution to be prepared.
Anyone can log onto www.ready.gov or the Spanish language site, www.listo.gov, to learn more.
Follow the recovery in Tennessee online at http://twitter.com/fema, www.youtube.com/fema.