Floods & Flash Floods

As little as six inches of fast moving water can knock you off your feet and a depth of two feet will float your car! Never try to walk, swim or drive through flood waters. Stop, turn around and go another way.

Regardless of how a flood or flash flood occurs the plan for staying safe is simple: head for higher ground and stay out of flood waters.

Terms Defined

  • Flood - Occurs in known floodplains when prolonged rainfall or intense rainfall over a short period of time causes a river or stream to overflow.
  • Flash Flood - Occurs within a few minutes or up to6 hours after a rain event or after a sudden release of water due to a dam or levee failure or the release of an ice or debris dam.

How to Prepare

Learn about the flood and flash flood history and risk where you live.

Develop a Family Disaster Plan. Include plans for evacuation for floods with some advanced warning and flash floods with little or no warning.

Assemble a Disaster Supply Kit.

Monitor National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio with tone alert and battery backup to receive emergency weather information from the National Weather Service.

What to listen for:

  • Flash Flood or Flood Watch - Flash Flooding or Flooding is possible within the watch area. Stay tuned to NOAA Weather Radio or local commercial television or radio stations for current information and possible warnings.
  • Flash Flood or Flood Warning - Flash Flooding or Flooding has been reported or is imminent in the warning area. Take all necessary precautions at once. Contact your insurance agent (most homeowner's policies do not cover flooding)