SJRWMD offers tips for homeowners to prepare for hurricane season
PALATKA – The St. Johns River Water Management District's website provides easy access to valuable information to assist the public and local governments before, during and after severe storm events.
"By being proactive ahead of a storm, homeowners can protect themselves and their property from flooding effects that are typically the biggest problem associated with hurricanes in Florida," said St. Johns River Water Management District Executive Director Dr. Ann Shortelle. "The time to prepare is now, before the storm, and then to perform periodic maintenance to keep stormwater flowing off your property and into a stormwater system or natural waterway."
Hurricane season officially begins June 1. The district's Web page (www.sjrwmd.com/storm/) includes links to flood statements and warnings, river stage and flooding data, and local government emergency contacts. Links to the National Weather Service, Florida Division of Emergency Management and the U.S. Geological Survey's interactive map of current conditions in the state are also available via the website.
To prepare for hurricane season, which officially runs through Nov. 30, property owners can protect themselves and their property by:
- Keeping debris out of storm drains and ditches;
- Reporting clogged ditches and culverts to local governments;
- Retrofitting buildings to make them watertight;
- Cleaning out gutters and extending downspouts at least four feet from structures;
- Determining who has responsibility for stormwater pond maintenance in their neighborhood – it may be the homeowner's association;
- Obtaining flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program.
For general water level information and rainfall data, bookmark the district's hydrologic data Web page, www.sjrwmd.com/toolsGISdata/.