Being prepared for floods could save lives, property

TINKER AIR FORCE BASE -- Tinker Air Force Base has an extensive system of creeks and storm drains, which could overflow, endangering personnel and resources.
   It is important that everyone understands and knows what actions to protect themselves other personnel, personal property or government resources to minimize damage from floods.
   Awareness - Oklahoma is subject to widespread flooding and flash floods. When a flood advisory is issued, units commanders are required to brief their personnel with the following information.
   Know your flood hazard area: Be aware of flood hazards no matter where you live, but especially if you live in a low lying area near waterways.
   Community awareness and response is developed through education and practice. The public must be able to translate a notice into an appropriate action. It must be recognized that flooding conditions in any event vary from location to location. Individuals should familiarize themselves with the local flood plain map as well as conditions in previous flood events within their neighborhoods.
   A flood watch is issued when heavy rainfall can create a flood. Travelers and campers should monitor local radio stations for weather update information. Be especially cautious at night when flood threat is present. Know where high ground is and how to get there quickly if necessary. Watch for signs of rising water levels.
   A flood warning is issued when flooding has already occurred. If you are in the affected area don't wait until you see the flood, move to higher ground immediately. Do not attempt to drive through flood waters, the road may be gone and your vehicle could be carried away. If your vehicle is trapped by rising water, abandon your vehicle and head for higher ground immediately.
   Flash floods - This area is subject to flooding typical of hill country "flash floods." These areas typically provide fast run-off and high peaks of short duration. Additionally, these storms develop very rapidly. These combined conditions result in storms that provide minimum lead-time for prediction of flow rates and flood elevation. Data is presented in this report as a point of reference and to help understand relative relationships during a flood event.
   Floodway - A floodway is a channel through which water is conveyed.
   Floodplain - A floodplain is an area located adjacent to a stream, lake, or depressional area that may be covered by water reaching a particular elevation.
   Dissemination of information -Tinker and the surrounding areas are susceptible to floods or flashfloods anytime during the year. Base weather is responsible for disseminating weather information to the base populace. During these events the installation commander or designated representative will determine level of response required and actions to be initiated to protect the base populace and resources.
   The National Weather Service also distributes flood warnings and predictions. Personnel especially those living in flood prone areas should tune to local television and radio stations for information.
   Television stations are:
KWTV (CBS) Channel 9 - Cox Channel 10
KFOR (NBC) Channel 4 - Cox Channel 3
KOCO (ABC) Channel 5 - Cox Channel 8
KFOX (FOX) Channel 25 - Cox Channel 12
   Radio stations are:
KMGL 104.1FM
KLTE 101.9FM
   Time of year - This year, rainfall totals during the months of April, May and June have exceeded the average by almost three times.
   Preparing before flooding - Personnel should ensure that they prepare well in advance for a potential flood event and that family members and personnel are aware of the hazards.
   A "Personal Evacuation Plan" should provide trigger points and actions to be taken prior to a flood event. Personnel should protect valuables (computers etc.) and important papers and store them a minimum of two feet above floor level on counters and beds.
   Remember you and your family are the most important, possessions can be replaced. Are you ready?