TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Even though it's been dry, flooding can strike.
"Community awareness basically starts with the individuals."
Chris Jones is the Thomas County Emergency Management Director. Before active weather strikes, Jones says it's important to know where flood prone areas are in your community. He also says understanding the difference between a Watch and a Warning issued by the National Weather Service is key.
"Flooding is one of those things that's hard to predict."
His team will monitor river basins, poor drainage, and low-lying areas this week as heavy rain moves in.
Felecia Bowser is the Meteorologist In Charge at the National Weather Service in Tallahassee.
"The fact that we haven't seen rain in a little while this rainfall could still pose a threat for flooding for sure."
She explains when you come across a flooded roadway...
"You have no idea exactly what the road looks like it could be washed out underneath you just don't know so it's just better to, turn around, don't drown."
As severe weather ramps up in the months ahead:
In case of a tornado, it's vital to have a safe place in an interior room away from windows. Use a helmet or mattress for protection. Also, keep shoes next to your bed if storms are expected overnight.
In general, it's always important to have an emergency bag ready with cash, medicine, and non-perishables. Make sure phones are charged and weather alerts are enabled on smartphones.
"Having these plans in place just saves you time it saves you energy all you have to do is just get up and go and go to your safe place."
In Leon County, Emergency Management will be keeping a close eye on changing conditions. Director, Kevin Peters, says getting prepared for severe season makes all the difference.
"We encourage people to always have a plan for what they're going to do whether it's flooding or hurricanes, know how they're going to get their information, and have their disaster supply kit ready."
To help lower community risks, Leon County has a floodplain ordinance to help regulate construction in floodplain zones.
They have online resources to help the community understand your own flood risk, how to protect your home, and how to get the right insurance.