A flood is an overflow of water on land. Floods can develop slowly or quickly. Flash floods come with no warning. Floods can cause outages, disrupt transportation, damage buildings and create landslides.
Flash Flood Watches and Warnings
The National Weather Service (NWS) issues a flash flood watch when flash floods are possible. The NWS issues a flash flood warning when flash floods are occurring.
Flash Flood Safety
Pay attention to local TV stations, radio, NOAA Weather radio, online news sources and smartphone apps to stay alert for warnings and floods in progress.
Be prepared to evacuate if ordered.
Stay away from flood waters. Turn Around, Don't Drown. Do not walk, swim or drive through flooded areas. Stay off bridges over fast-moving water. Just six inches of moving water can knock you down, and one foot of moving water can sweep your vehicle away. Stay inside your car if it is trapped in rapidly moving water. Get on the roof if water is rising inside the car.
Get to the highest level if trapped in a building. Only get on the roof if necessary and once there, signal for help. Do not climb into a closed attic to avoid getting trapped by rising floodwater.
After a Flood
Retune home only after officials have declared the area safe.
Avoid driving except in emergencies.
Wear heavy work gloves, protective clothing and boots during clean up and use appropriate face coverings or masks if cleaning mold or other debris.
People with asthma and other lung conditions and/or immune suppression should not enter buildings with indoor water leaks or mold growth that can be seen or smelled. Children should not help with disaster cleanup work.
Be aware of snakes and other animals in your home.
Be aware of the risk of electrocution. Do not touch electrical equipment if it is wet or if you are standing in water. Turn off the electricity to prevent electric shock if it is safe to do so. Avoid wading in floodwater, which can be contaminated and contain dangerous debris. Underground or downed power lines can also electrically charge the water.