Before a Flood
- Know flood terms:
Flood Watch Flooding is possible. Stay tuned to radio or television for additional information.
Flash Flood Watch Flash flooding is possible. Move to higher ground. A flash flood could occur without any warning. Listen to radio or television for additional information.
Flood Warning Flooding is occurring or will occur soon. If advised to evacuate, do so immediately.
Flash Flood Warning A flash flood is occurring. Seek higher ground on foot immediately.
Urban and Small Stream Advisory Flooding of small streams, streets and low-lying areas is occurring.
- Ask your local emergency preparedness office whether your land is in a flood zone. Learn the elevation level of your property. Ask how your property can be protected from flooding.
- Be prepared to evacuate. Learn your community's flood evacuation routes and where to seek higher ground.
- Talk to your family about flooding. Plan a place to meet your family in case you are separated from one another in a disaster and cannot return home.
- Assemble a disaster supplies kit.
- Know how to shut off electricity, gas and water at main switches and valves.
- Consider purchasing flood insurance. Homeowner's insurance policies do not cover flood losses. Do not wait until a flood is coming to purchase your policy. It normally takes 30 days after the policy purchase for a flood insurance policy to go into effect.
- Move valuables, such as papers, furs, jewelry, and clothing to upper floors or higher elevations.
- Fill bathtubs, sinks, and plastic soda bottles with clean water. Sanitize the sinks and tubs first by using bleach. Rinse, then fill with clean water.
- Bring outdoor possessions inside or tie them down.