- Associated Press - Monday, March 14, 2016

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - The Indiana Department of Homeland Security is urging residents to prepare for spring flooding.

Department officials say Indiana residents should develop a family emergency communications plan, making sure to include an out-of-state contact and meeting places in case family members become separated. The agency also urges people to put together a disaster preparedness kit that contains essential items a family needs to sustain itself for at least three days.

Homeland Security officials say in many cases, easy preventative yard work can help minimize the effects of flooding. They say high amounts of debris, especially near storm sewer drains, can contribute to flooding.

They also recommend that when water levels are low, people clear debris from waterways, ditches or culverts that may obstruct water flow and force water into neighborhoods.

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