Flooding is a temporary overflow of water onto land that is normally dry. Floods are the most common natural disaster in the United States.
Floods may result from rain, snow, coastal storms, storm surges and overflows of dams and other water systems. Floods can develop slowly or quickly. Flash floods can come with no warning. They can cause outages, disrupt transportation, damage buildings and create landslides
To avoid illness or injury when experiencing flood waters, follow these tips:
- Do not walk through flood waters. Swiftly moving water can be deadly. Most drownings occur during flash floods.
- Do not drive through flooded roads. Cars can be swept away in only 2 feet of water.
- Do not drive around barriers. Roads may collapse.
- Play it smart, play it safe. Whether driving or walking, any time you come to a flooded area, TURN AROUND, DON'T DROWN.
Preparing for a Flood
Make a plan for your household, including your pets, so that you and your family know what to do, where to go, and what you will need to protect yourselves from flooding. Learn and practice evacuation routes, shelter plans, and flash flood response. Gather supplies, including non-perishable foods, cleaning supplies, and water for several days, in case you must leave immediately or if services are cut off in your area.
Know Your Risk for Floods
Visit FEMA's Flood Map Service Center to know types of flood risk in your area. Sign up for emergency alerts from the Emergency Alert System (EAS) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio.
To learn more about flood safety or to access select resources in additional languages, visit the Disaster Response webpage on floodsmart.gov.