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Malone, NY  12953



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This site is intended to provide information on events, activities, training and safety to the Fire and EMS community in Franklin County. Please forward any site content ideas or information including any department events you would like to place on the calendar to Car 2 at the Office of Emergency Services.




Keep You and Your Family Safe Before, During and After a Flood

Floods are the most common natural disaster in the United States. Anywhere it rains, it can flood. Everyone is at risk. In fact, homeowners in high-risk flood areas have a 26% chance of experiencing a flood during the life of a 30-year mortgage.

Many circumstances can cause flooding:

  • Seasonal events such as spring thaws or ice jams
  • Hurricanes and tropical storms
  • After a wildfire

Before the Flood

To prepare for a flood, you should …

  • Build an emergency kit.
  • Make and practice a family emergency plan. Plan and practice flood evacuation routes from home, work and school that are on higher ground.
  • Get flood insurance.
    • Flood damage is not typically covered by homeowners insurance.
    • It is a good idea to get flood insurance even if your home is in a low-risk area. The lower the risk, the lower the insurance premium.
  • Elevate the furnace, water heater and electric panel in your home if you live in an area that has a high flood risk.

During the Flood

If a flood is likely in your area, you should …

  • Listen to the radio or television for information.
  • Be aware that flash flooding can occur. If there is any possibility of a flash flood, move immediately to higher ground. Do not wait for instructions to move.

If you must prepare to evacuate, you should …

  • Secure your home. If you have time, bring in outdoor furniture. Move essential items to an upper floor.
  • Turn off utilities at the main switches or valves if instructed to do so. Disconnect electrical appliances. Do not touch electrical equipment if you are wet or standing in water.

If you have to leave your home, you should …

  • Stay away from floodwaters. If you come upon a flowing stream where water is above your ankles, turn around and go another way. Six inches of moving water can sweep you off your feet. If you have to walk in water, walk where the water is not moving.
  • Do not drive into flooded areas. If floodwaters rise around your car, abandon the car and move to higher ground if you can do so safely. Most vehicles can be swept away by less than two feet of moving water.

After the Flood

Returning to your home

  • Return home only when authorities indicate it is safe.
  • Emergency workers will be assisting people in flooded areas. You can help them by staying off the roads and out of the way.
  • Play it safe. Additional flooding or flash floods can occur. Listen for local warnings and information. If your car stalls in rapidly rising waters, get out immediately and climb to higher ground.
  • Stay out of any building if it is surrounded by floodwaters. Use extreme caution when entering buildings; there may be hidden damage, particularly in foundations.
  • Keep children and pets away from hazardous sites and floodwater.

Cleaning up and repairing your home

  • Before entering your home, look outside for loose power lines, damaged gas lines, foundation cracks or other damage.
  • Parts of your home may be collapsed or damaged. Approach entrances carefully. See of porch roofs and overhangs have all their supports.
  • If you smell natural or propane gas or hear a hissing noise, leave immediately and call the fire department.
  • Turn off the electricity at the main breaker or fuse box, even if the power is off in your community. That way, you can decide when your home is dry enough to turn it back on.
  • During cleanup, wear protective clothing, including rubber gloves and rubber boots. Dry or discard wet items within 24-28 hours to avoid mold.
  • If using portable generators or power washers, follow precautions to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • If you hire cleanup or repair contractors, check references and be sure they are qualified to do the job. Be wary of people who drive through neighborhoods offering help in cleaning up or repairing your home.
  • Make sure your food and water are safe. Listen for news reports to learn whether the community’s water supply is safe to drink and discard items that have come in contact with floodwater.

Ice/Debris Jams

Ice jams are common during the winter and spring along rivers, streams and creeks in the higher latitudes of the continental U.S. as well as in Alaska. Many of the record flood events along major rivers in Alaska are the result of ice jams Debris jams can occur at any time of year and have the same implications as an ice jam. As ice or debris moves downstream, it may get caught on any sort of obstruction to the water flow. When this occurs, water can be held back, causing upstream flooding. When the jam finally breaks, flash flooding can occur downstream.

debris jam in riverTypically, an ice jam is resolved when the ice melts. With debris jams, the options are to take measures to remove the jam or wait for the debris to break free. In addition to causing flooding, these jams may also have economic and ecological implications. They might delay or suspend navigation along a waterway, affect hydropower operations, or cause damage to vessels. Jams can cause riverbank erosion, impede migration of aquatic creatures and adversely impact wildlife habitats. Loss of life has also been attributed to flooding caused by ice and debris jams.

Snowmelt and the breakup of river ice often occur at about the same time. Ice jams often form as a result of the sudden push exerted on the ice by a surge of runoff into the river associated with snowmelt. Ice jams can act as dams on the river that result in flooding behind the dam until the ice melts or the jam weakens to the point that the ice releases and moves downstream. A serious ice jam will threaten areas upstream and downstream of its location. Six inch thick ice can destroy large trees and knock houses off their foundations. Once an ice jam gives way, a location may experience a flash flood as all the water and debris that was trapped, rushes downstream.


snowmeltSnowmelt flooding occurs when the major source of water involved in a flood is caused by melting snow. The northern tier states and mountainous areas of the U.S. are particularly susceptible to snowmelt flooding. Unlike rainfall that can reach the soil almost immediately, the snowpack can store the water for an extended amount of time until temperatures rise above freezing and the snow melts. This frozen storage delays the arrival of water to the soil for days, weeks, or even months. Once it begins to melt and does reach the soil, water from snowmelt behaves much as it would if it had come from rain instead of snow by either infiltrating into the soil, running off, or both. Flooding can occur when there is more water than the soil can absorb or can be contained in storage capacities in the soil, rivers, lakes and reservoirs.

High soil moisture conditions prior to snowmelt can contribute to snowmelt flooding. Rainfall during the late fall is particularly important because there is less evapotranspiration and less time for the soil to drain and dry before it freezes. Ground frost or frozen soil is another contributor. Deep, hard ground frost prevents snowmelt from infiltrating into the soil. Cold temperatures prior to heavy snowfall and normal or above normal soil moisture contribute to this.

Deep snow cover can worsen snowmelt flooding since there is more water stored and available for snowmelt. Also, when snow cover is widespread, it usually keeps air temperatures cooler and delays spring warming, which increases the potential for more rapid snowmelt. Rain falling while snow is still on the ground contributes more water for flooding and helps to melt the snowpack, thus rain-on-snow events are watched carefully.

Most often, snowmelt is a relatively slow phenomenon. Snowmelt rates are usually comparable to light or moderate rainfall. A  Important exceptions to this can occur, especially during unusually warm periods with high dew point temperatures, and when nighttime temperatures remain above freezing. Snowmelt rates can be much higher than normal under these conditions, which can increase the risk of snowmelt flooding.

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Emergency Services Staff

Director/Fire Coordinator

  Ricky Provost

Deputy Director/911 Coordinator

  John Bashaw II

Communications Specialists

  Jamie Gratton

  Sandi Dunn

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  Peggy Shaw

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