Weather Safety - Floods

  When a flood watch is issued

  • Be alert to signs of flooding and be prepared to take action if a warning is issued.

  When a flood warning is issued

  • If advised to evacuate, do so immediately.
  • Move to a safe area before access is cut off by flood water.
  • Continue monitoring NOAA Weather Radio, television, or emergency broadcast station for information.

  Safety tips

  • Get out of areas subject to flooding. This includes dips, low spots, etc.
  • Avoid already flooded areas. Do not attempt to cross flowing streams.
  • If driving, be aware that the road bed may not be intact under flood waters. Turn around and go another way. NEVER drive through flooded roadways. Nearly half of all flood/flash flood fatalities are auto-related.
  • If your vehicle stalls, leave it immediately and seek higher ground. Rising water may engulf your vehicle and its occupants. Remember, it's better to be wet than dead!
  • Be especially cautious at night when it's harder to recognize flooding dangers.
  • Do not camp or park your vehicle along streams during threatening conditions.
  • Children should NEVER play around high water or storm drains.

  After the flood

  • If fresh food has come in contact with flood waters, throw it out.
  • Boil drinking water before using. Wells should be pumped out and the water tested for purity before drinking. If in doubt, call your local public health authority.
  • Seek necessary medical care at the nearest hospital. Food, clothing, shelter, and first aid are available from the Red Cross.
  • Do not visit flood areas. Your presence might hamper rescue and other emergency operations.
  • Electrical equipment should be checked and dried before being returned to service.
  • Use flashlights (not lanterns, torches, or matches) to examine buildings. Flammables may be inside.
  • Report broken utility lines to appropriate authorities. is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.