Know the difference between a flood watch and a flood warning.
Flash Flood Warning: Take Action! A Flash Flood Warning is issued when a flash flood is imminent or occurring. If you are in a flood prone area move immediately to high ground. A flash flood is a sudden violent flood that can take from minutes to hours to develop. It is even possible to experience a flash flood in areas not immediately receiving rain.
Flood Warning: Take Action! A Flood Warning is issued when the hazardous weather event is imminent or already happening. A Flood Warning is issued when flooding is imminent or occurring.
Flood Watch: Be Prepared:A Flood Watch is issued when conditions are favorable for a specific hazardous weather event to occur. A Flood Watch is issued when conditions are favorable for flooding. It does not mean flooding will occur, but it is possible.
Flood Advisory: Be Aware: An Flood Advisory is issued when a specific weather event that is forecast to occur may become a nuisance. A Flood Advisory is issued when flooding is not expected to be bad enough to issue a warning. However, it may cause significant inconvenience, and if caution is not exercised, it could lead to situations that may threaten life and/or property.
Before a flood
- Stay informed. Listen to the radio or television, check social media sites for current information. Sign up for emergency alerts.
- If a flood is predicted, be prepared to either evacuate or stay home. If you are staying home make sure you have an emergency supply kit. Charge up your essential electronics. If there is the potential of evacuating, have a "go bag" ready.
- If time and safety permit, prepare your home. If you have access to sandbags or other materials, use them to protect your home from flood waters.
- Make preparations for animals and pets.
During a flood
- During a flood, water levels and the rate the water is flowing can quickly change. Avoid flood waters at all costs and evacuate immediately when water starts to rise. Don't wait until it's too late!
- Stay informed
- Get to higher ground
- If asked to evacuate, do so immediately. Lock your home and shut off utilities if you have time. Use designated,safe evacuation routes.
- Avoid flood waters. Don't walk through flood waters. It only takes 6 inches of moving water to knock you off your feet. If you are trapped by moving water, move to the highest possible point and call 911 if possible. Do NOT drive into flooded roadways or around a barricade; Turn Around, Don't Drown! Water may be deeper than it appears and can hide hazards such as sharp objects, washed out road surfaces, electrical wires, chemicals, etc. A vehicle caught in swiftly moving water can be swept away in seconds 12 inches of water can float a car or small SUV, 18 inches of water can carry away large vehicles.
After a flood
- When flood waters recede devastating damage can be left behind. There can also be hazards. Some hazards are easily identified and others hidden, gas leaks, exposed power lines and contaminated water to name a few.
- Stay informed. Learn about power outages, water safety and other important information by watching, listening and reading current reports.
- Continue to avoid flood waters. The water can hide many hazards.
- Avoid disaster areas. Don't hinder rescue and other emergency operations.
- Heed road closure and cautionary signs.
- Do not enter unsafe buildings. Make sure your home is safe before you return.
- Let loved ones know you are safe.