A group of clouds float through a hazy afternoon sky. Rainfall is expected, but a local meteorologist isn’t alarmed. “It’s a usual rainstorm,” she reports on the 5 o’clock news. She mentions the possibility of flooding near lakes, rivers, and dams, but says it’s unlikely. Steady rain turns into downpour. Within hours, water starts accumulating on city streets. Soon there’s a flash flood watch, quickly followed by a flash flood warning. Floods are unpredictable, and they develop quickly. Water levels remain low, so residents are skeptical of the dangers. But local news outlets are beginning to report emergency situations. Rescue teams are deployed to help people who’ve become stranded in homes and vehicles. Thankfully, there are no fatalities.
Floods are the most common natural disaster, and they cause the most weather related deaths in the United States. They can occur in any city or state, but areas that are low-lying, near water or dams are at greater risk. Higher elevation might mitigate threats, but won’t prevent an incident.
Flood related deaths are avoidable. Nearly half of flash-flood fatalities are vehicle-related. Never attempt to drive during or after a flood. If a flood is imminent, EVACUATE IMMEDIATELY.
It’s best to always be prepared with emergency kits. Make sure to include the following items:
Don’t Neglect the Prep
Floods are stressful, and they present victims with challenges that linger after clouds and rain disappear. It’s important to plan ahead how your family will deal with an event if it ever occurs. Here are some steps you can take to prepare yourself in case of a flood.
Emergency response teams place resources in cities to aid in the recovery process. Often they’re able to provide food, shelter, and goods. Your city will also let you know how probable flooding is in your neighborhood.
Floods can develop within hours of a rainstorm—and once water accumulates, severe flash floods occur in a matter of minutes. If a flash flood happens without warning and you’re trapped, the following steps will keep you safe:
Remember: Most flood related deaths are avoidable. Nearly half of flash-flood fatalities are vehicle-related. Never attempt to drive during or after a flood.
Issues caused by floods can linger for days, weeks, and sometimes years. It’s important to be aware of problems that arise after a flood.