Flooding is a temporary overflow of water onto land that is normally dry. Floods are the most common natural disaster in the United States.
Floods may result from rain, snow, tropical systems, and overflows of dams and other water systems. Flooding can develop slowly or quickly, and flash floods can come with no warning.
Know the Difference
- Flash Flood Watch: issued to indicate current or developing hydrologic conditions that are favorable for flash flooding in and close to the watch area, but the occurrence is neither certain or imminent.
- Flash Flood Warning: issued to inform the public, emergency management, and other cooperating agencies that flash flooding is in progress, imminent, or highly likely.
- Call 911 if you are in immediate danger.
- Never drive or walk through flooded areas. If you must travel during hazardous conditions, be cautious and do not drive around barricades placed for your safety.
- Watch out for fallen power lines and stay away from damaged areas.
- Tune in to local TV and radio for officials' announcements.
- Consider postponing outdoor activities.
- Tie down or bring in outdoor objects (patio furniture, children's toys, trash cans, etc.) that could be swept away or damaged during flooding.
- Consider unplugging sensitive electronic equipment before flooding occurs. But, do not touch electrical equipment if you are wet or standing in water.
- Elevate items stored in your basement to prevent damage. If you have a sump pump, check that it is working.
- Consider clearing street catch basins to prevent or reduce street flooding.