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Know the Terms Used to Describe Flooding

Flood Watch

Flooding is possible. Watches are issued by the National Weather Service (NWS) 12 to 36 hours in advance of a possible event.

Flash Flood Watch

Flash Flooding is possible. Be prepared to move to higher ground.  A Flash Flood could occur without warning.

Flood Warning

Flooding is occurring, or will occur soon. If advised to evacuate, do so immediately.

Flash Flood Warning

A flash flood is occurring. Seek higher ground immediately and stay away from streams and creeks.

What to do In Case of a Flood

  • If you ever encounter flood waters NEVER attempt to walk or drive through them.
  • Monitor Media reports.
  • Ask local officials whether your property is in a flood-prone or high-risk area. Flood plain maps are available at most town offices or city halls.
  • Listen to local and state Public Safety officials and respond to their directives in a prompt manner.
  • Know your best flood evacuation routes, potential Public Shelters, and where to find high ground. In a flash flood, you may need to seek high ground on foot quickly.

What to do to Prepare for Flooding

  • Install ‘check valves’ in sewer traps to prevent floodwater from backing up into the drains in your home.
  • Ensure your home is ready. Where possible, minimize damage from basement flooding by elevating utilities and materials that could be damaged by limited basement flooding.
  • Anchor fuel tanks to ensure that they do not wash away, creating a safety and environmental issue inside or outside the home.
  • Develop a Family Emergency Kit.
  • Make a Family Communication Plan. Designate an out of state relative as a central point of contact.
  • Be prepared to turn off electrical power when there is standing water, fallen power lines, or before you evacuate. Know how to safely turn off gas and water supplies before you evacuate.
  • Contact your insurance agent or local government to discuss flood insurance coverage. Flood losses are not covered under regular homeowner’s insurance policies. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) administers the National Flood Insurance Plan (NFIP) through the Federal Insurance Administration (FIA).  The NFIP makes flood insurance available in communities that adopt and enforce ordinances to reduce flood damage.

Additional Information