While tornadoes and hurricanes are scary and destructive, when it comes to one of the most dangerous weather events, floods are devastating. The Federal Emergency Management Agency indicates flood damage cost $17 billion annually between 2010 and 2018, and the numbers are rising nationally. This type of weather event also causes an average of 88 deaths a year in the United States.
What’s perhaps most surprising about flooding disasters is that the majority of them (8 out of 10) occur away from the coastline. So if you live in the midwest, it doesn’t mean you don’t need to know what to do should a flood hit your town — in fact, the odds are you’ll face one before coastal relatives. No need to panic though. Here are a few simple guidelines that will help keep you and your loved ones safer (and drier) should you find yourself in a flood.
Pay attention to flash flood watches and warnings.
Flash floods can occur at any time as a result of a heavy downpour, storm surge, coastal storm, snow, or overflow from a local dam or other waterway. They can quickly become life-threatening, so it’s important to pay attention to any alerts from the National Weather Service about your area.
If you receive a flood warning, move to a safer location, or stay put if you’re already on high ground. If a flood warning turns into a flood emergency, flooding has reached a point where it can cause catastrophic damage….
In that situation, you should not travel if you’re in a safe, high-ground location unless your area is being ordered to evacuate.