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Aside from wildfires, floods are the most common and widespread of all natural disasters. 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.

Oklahoma's most recent historic flood occurred May 2019, when an unrelenting onslaught of rain in northern Oklahoma and southern Kansas caused major and record flooding for numerous rivers in our state, leaving some towns submerged and forcing numerous water rescues, road closures and home evacuations in the northeast corner of the state, according to the National Weather Service.  

Word to the wise: most home insurance policies don't automatically include flood damage coverage.  Be sure you know whether you're covered. 

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:

Last Modified on Jan 04, 2024
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