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THE SAFETY ZONE

How to Reduce Your Risk From Floods

November 06, 2000

* Move valuables and appliances out of the basement of your home or business if it is prone to flooding. By doing so, your increase the chance that your belongings will be safe and sound when a flood occurs.

* Elevate the main breaker or fuse box and the utility meters above the anticipated flood level in your home or business, so that flood water won't damage your utilities.

* Buy flood insurance to cover the value of your home and its contents. Not only will insurance give you greater peace of mind, but it will also greatly speed your recovery if a flood occurs. To learn more about insurance, call (800) 638-6620, or contact your local insurance agent.

* Do not dump grass clippings, yard waste, trash or anything else into storm drains. It's not just a bad idea, it's against the law and punishable by a fine of up to $2,000 per day, per offense. Grass clippings and leaves left in the street or dumped on a creek bank or in the watershed will wash into storm drains.

* Silt from soil erosion clogs storm drains and fills creek beds. Prevent soil erosion by using retaining walls, landscaping and other barriers.

* Any foreign object and wastes that enter a storm drain can prevent effective drainage, cause flooding and harm our water supply.

Sources: Federal Emergency Management Agency, city of Dallas

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