Emergency Services » Emergency Weather Info » Flooding


Floods are the most common and widespread of all natural hazards. Some floods develop over a period of days, but flash floods can result in raging water in just a few minutes.
  • Tune in to your EAS station for updated information and instructions on what to do.
  • If instructed to, turn off utilities at the main switches or valves. Disconnect electrical appliances, but do not touch any electrical equipment if you are wet or standing in water.
  • If your car stalls in a flash flood area, abandon it! You and your car could be swept away.
  • Keep a stock of food that requires no cooking or refrigeration. Store drinking water in clean, closed containers.
  • Keep a portable, battery powered radio and flashlights in working order, and stock extra batteries. Have first aid supplies and any medicines your family may need.

What to do after the flood?

  • Upon entering the building, use a battery powered flashlight.
  • Before entering a building, check for structural damage. 
  • Watch for electrical shorts and live wires before making certain the main power switch is off. 
  • Throw out any medicine or food that has come into contact with flood water. Do NOT handle any electrical equipment in wet areas. 
  • Report broken utility lines to appropriate agencies. 

Flooding Terms

Flood forecasts: mean rainfall may be heavy enough to cause rivers to overflow their banks, or melting snow may be mixing with rainfall to produce similar effects. 

Flood Warning or forecasts of Impending Floods: describe the affected river, lake or tidewater, the severity of flooding, (minor, moderate, or major) and when and where the flooding will begin. 

Flash Flood Watches: mean heavy rains (that may cause sudden flash flooding in specified areas) may occur. Understand that a flash flood can occur without visible sign of rainfall in your area. Be alert to a possible emergency that will require immediate action. 

Flash Flood Warnings: mean flash flooding is occurring or imminent along certain streams and designated areas. Move to higher ground immediately.

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