Flood Safety

Katelyn SmrecanskySecurity Resources

Floods are one of the most frequent and expensive natural disasters that can occur in any region of the country. Flooding can occur when there is a substantial amount of standing water in an area. According to the National Weather Service, there are four types of flood warnings.

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.

It’s important to follow the safety tips below in case you are in an area with severe and dangerous flooding.
Before a flood, keep certain items on hand at all times in your home and/or office:
  • Three day supply (at least) of food
  • Three day supply (at least) of water
  • First aid kit and medication
  • Extra batteries
  • Radio (battery powered or hand crank)
  • Flashlight
  • Extra cash
  • Copies of personal documents
  • Extra blankets
  • Maps
  • Tools
  • Extra cell phone charger units
  • Emergency contact information
  • Be sure to replenish after you have used the supplies
How to respond during a flood:
  • Head for higher ground if there are flood/flash flood warnings
  • Be prepared to evacuate
  • Stay on top of weather and news updates
  • If you have time, unplug all appliances and disconnect the utilities
  • Do not get near floodwater. If you’re driving, turn around and go another direction. If you can’t do that, abandon your car as it can easily get swept up in a flood.
  After a flood:
  • Return home only when the area has been declared safe
  • Continue to stay tuned to your local news station for updates
  • Update your friends and family so they know you are safe
  • Continue to avoid flood water as best as possible as water can become contaminated
  • If you smell gas upon entering your home, call the fire department immediately
  • Wear protective clothing while cleaning up
  • Make sure your electrical system has been turned off
  • Throw out any items that have come in contact with contaminated water
The Red Cross organization (among others) host disaster preparedness classes. Learn more here.