One of the most common natural disaster occurrences in the United States is flooding. There are different kinds of flooding. Some are flash floods that come on with almost no warning, while others build slowly. Most flooding is due to overland flooding, which is when waterways, rivers and streams overflow into surrounding areas. Another type of flooding occurs when dams or levees fail. The most important thing to do when it comes to flooding is to be aware of your surroundings and the potential for flooding.
What is the Difference between a Flood Watch and a Flood Warning?
A flood watch is when there is a possibility of a flash flood in an area. It is a recommendation for planning, preparation and an increased awareness of the situation. A flood warning means that flooding is already occurring or it is imminent, and immediate action should be taken to protect yourself and your home.
Before a Flood
There are things that can be done beforehand to prepare for possible flood risk.
- Determine if you are at risk for a flood
- Be aware of flood hazards where you are (Are you in a low-lying area? Near a dam or a waterway?)
- Look at FEMA Issued Flood Maps for your area
- Protect your property
- Have an emergency kit
- Set a family communications plan in place
- Don’t be left in the dark in a power outage
What to Do during a Flood
- Be aware of your local emergency management plan for flooding, including municipal and regional evacuation plans and procedures
- Avoid driving near or through flooded or flooding areas
- Monitor media and community communications to stay up-to-date with what is happening
Safety after a Flood
Avoid areas that may still have flooding
Use caution when driving over roadways that may have experienced flooding
Water can loosen the soil under pavement and cause the road to give way
Inspect your home for any potential structural damage that may have occurred
Be wary of mold that could potentially grow in dampened areas
Additional Resources & Information