Skip to main content

Flood Preparedness


Floods are the most common and widespread of all natural disasters - except fire. Floods can be slow or fast rising and generally develop over a period of days.

Flash floods usually result from intense storms dropping large amounts of rain within a brief period. Flash floods occur with little or no warning and can reach full peak in only a few minutes.

In the United States, an average of 100 people lose their lives in floods annually, with flood damage averaging more than $2 billion. The Midwest's "Great Flood of 1993" cost 48 lives and more than $12 billion. Flash floods are the #1 weather-related killer in the United States.

Flood Safety

Before the flood:

  • Find out if you live in a flood-prone area.
  • Plan and practice an evacuation route.
  • Have disaster supplies on hand.
  • Develop an emergency communications plan.
  • Learn about the National Flood Insurance Program.

During the flood:

  • Stay informed. Turn on a battery-operated radio or television to get the latest emergency information.
  • If advised to evacuate, do so immediately.
  • Avoid walking through floodwater. Water only six inches deep can sweep you off your feet if it is moving swiftly.
  • Do not drive into a flooded street. Cars can be swept away by two feet of moving water or there may be unseen damage to the road. If you come to a flooded area turn around and go another way. Most flood-related deaths are caused by people driving through water.
  • Watch out for fire hazards.

After the flood:

  • Take care of yourself first.
  • Dry out your home.
  • Restore the utilities.
  • Clean up.
  • Rebuild and flood proof.
  • Prepare for the next flood.

Protect yourself from the next flood with flood insurance, a flood response plan and community flood protection programs.

For more information:


Back to Top