Did you know that flash flooding is the number one weather-related killer in the United States? Most flash flooding is caused by slow-moving thunderstorms, thunderstorms moving repeatedly over the same areas or heavy rains from hurricanes and tropical storms. In fact, flash flooding can occur within only a few minutes or hours of excessive rainfalls and can happen almost anywhere or anytime.

Be alert

  • Know your area’s flood risk. During rains that have lasted for several hours or even several days, be attentive to the chance of flooding.
  • Listen to local radio or television stations for possible flooding information, as well as NOAA weather radio for watch and warning bulletins.

Flood and flash flood survival tips

Observe these safety rules. They could save your life.

  • Watch for rising water levels.
  • Know where high ground is and move there quickly if you see or hear rapidly rising water.
  • Do not attempt to cross through flowing water that may be more than knee deep.
  • Do no try to drive through flooded areas — most flood-related deaths occur in automobiles.
  • If your vehicle stalls, abandon it and seek higher ground immediately.
  • Be especially cautious at night, the time of day most difficult to recognize the dangers.

A flood/flash flood watch means it is possible that rains will cause flash flooding in the specified area. Be alert and prepared for a flood emergency. A flood/flash flood warning means flash flooding is occurring or is imminent in the specified area. Move to safe ground immediately.

The better prepared you are, the better you can deal with flooding and maintain comfort afterwards.