Floods claim many lives every year. Flood waters only one foot deep can sweep you off your feet. If you live in a flood-prone area, be prepared. Determine your nearest safe area above floodwaters. Develop an evacuation plan. Remember that many roads, bridges, and other areas may be covered by floodwaters. A Flood Watch is issued when conditions are favorable for long-term flooding, longer than six hours. A Flood Warning means flooding is occurring or is very likely, and is expected to last more than six hours. A Flash Flood Watch means a sudden flood could occur within minutes or hours of heavy rainfall or a dam or levee break, but is expected to last less than six hours. A Flash Flood Warning means flash flooding is occurring or is extremely likely, and you should take immediate action if you are in a flood prone area. If there is a possibility of any type of flooding in your area, you should:
- Turn off your utilities if your home is likely to be flooded.
- Fill your car's gas tank.
- Evacuate if you are told to do so, and take your Disaster Supply Kit with you.
- Leave low-lying areas immediately and move to higher ground.
- Stay out of flooded areas. Water may be rising and fast-moving. Less than one foot of fast moving water can sweep an adult off their feet.
- If you are driving, stay away from creeks and open ditches. Never drive into water of unknown depth. Never drive around barricades. They are there for your protection.
- If your car stalls in rapidly rising waters, abandon it immediately and climb to higher ground.
- Be especially cautious at night, when flood dangers are much more difficult to see.