Flooding is a coast-to-coast threat in all months of the year. Flooding typically occurs when prolonged rain falls over several days, when intense rain falls over a short period of time, or when an ice or debris jam causes a river or stream to overflow onto the surrounding area. On average, U.S. flooding kills about 150 people a year - more than any other single weather hazard, including tornadoes and hurricanes.

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 inched 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.

  • Do not return to a flooded area until authorities indicate it is safe to do so.
  • Stay out of buildings if floodwaters 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.