Floods are among the most frequent and costly natural disasters. Being prepared during a flood or any emergency is your best defense. Floodwaters can rise rapidly and carry enough force to easily sweep people and vehicles off sidewalks and roadways.
Flash Flood vs Flood
Flash flooding occurs during heavy rain events and happens very quickly.
Flooding occurs as the result of a more prolonged rain event or a lake/creek overflow. It is more gradual, more predictable, and lasts longer. The duration of flooding events may extend longer than 24 hours, perhaps several days.
Flood Safety Tips
- Sign up for emergency weather notifications.
- Listen to area radio or television stations and NOAA Weather Radio for possible flood warnings or other critical information from the National Weather Service.
- Do not drive through a flooded area or around road barriers. As little as six inches of water can cause you to lose control of your vehicle.
- Do not walk through flowing water. Drowning is the Number 1 cause of flood-related deaths, mostly during times of rapidly rising water.
- Stay away from power lines and electrical wires. Report downed power lines to the power company. Request that your electricity be turned off by the power company.
- Evacuate if needed. If emergency officials tell you to evacuate or leave your home, go immediately to a safe shelter, hotel, or relative's house. Know your evacuation route. Don't forget your emergency supplies and first aid kit.
- Never allow children to play around high water, storm drains, ditches, ravines, or concrete culverts.
- Be especially cautious at night when it is harder to recognize flood danger.
- Look before you step. After a flood, the grounds and floors are covered with debris including broken bottles and nails.
Watch vs Warning
- Flash Flood Warning - Flash flooding is occurring. Move to higher ground immediately.
- Flash Flood Watch - Heavy rains and flash flooding are possible. Be ready to move to higher ground immediately.
- Flood Warning - Flooding is occurring or is imminent. If you are advised to evacuate, do so immediately.
- Flood Watch - Flooding is possible in a given area.
It is a good idea to discuss flood insurance with your agent. The State of Texas has a website called Floodsmart and a toll-free number at 888-379-9531 where you can get additional information on flood protection and filing claims.