Flash Flood

On average, U.S. flooding kills about 150 people a year - more than any other single weather hazard, including tornadoes and hurricanes.

During a flood:

  • Listen to a battery-powered radio for emergency information.
  • Evacuate as instructed by emergency personnel.
  • If outdoors:
    • Climb to higher ground and stay there.
    • Avoid walking through any floodwaters. If moving swiftly, even water 6 inches deep can sweep you off your feet.
  • If in a car:
    • If coming up to a flooded area, turn around and go another way.
    • If the car stalls, abandon it immediately and climb to higher ground. Many deaths have resulted from attempts to move stalled vehicles.

During an evacuation:

  • If advised to evacuate, do so immediately.
  • Evacuation is much simpler and safer before floodwaters become too deep for ordinary vehicles to drive through.
  • Listen to a battery-powered radio for evacuation instructions.
  • Follow recommended evacuation routes -- shortcuts may be blocked.
  • Leave early enough to avoid being marooned by flooded roads.

After a flood:

  • Do not return to a flooded area until authorities indicate it is safe to do so.
  • Stay out of buildings if flood waters remain around the building.
  • Use extreme caution when otherwise entering buildings. Watch for loose plaster and ceilings that could fall.
  • Be alert for fire hazards, such as broken or leaking gas lines, flooded electrical circuits, submerged appliances, and flammable or explosive materials.