National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
U.S. Department of Commerce
rom the beginning of time, the power of water has Understanding
captured the human imagination and influenced Your Risk
how culture evolved throughout the world.
It’s the topic of popular bible stories, global legends flood threats with the
and Greek mythology. It can be beautiful, like the click of a mouse at www.weather.gov/water. Water-level
cascading falls of Niagara. It can be useful, like the gauges in areas with flooding in the forecast will appear
mighty Colorado River — providing hydro-electrical purple for major flooding, red for moderate flooding,
power to millions of people. It also can be a destructive orange for minor flooding, yellow for near-flood stage,
and deadly force of nature when heavy rain, melting and green for no flooding.
snow, coastal storms and undersea earthquakes cause it to
flow in unexpected places. NOAA also provides new flood inundation maps to
show which parts of a given city will likely be submerged
NOAA understands the when we predict a flood. This tool helps local officials
dangers of floods. Each year in decide whether to bring in sand bags, move property or
the United States alone, nearly evacuate people from threatened areas. Inundation maps
100 people are killed by are posted at ww.weather.gov/ahps/inundation.php. The
floodwaters, which cause an National Weather Service continues to add new locations
average of $7 billion in property to this tool.
damage. By planning ahead for
this threat and making wise Know What to Do: Turn Around, Don’t Drown
decisions, people can Most flood-related deaths occur in motor vehicles
minimize their physical and when people attempt to drive through flooded roadways.
economic risk. Don’t underestimate the power of flowing water
NOAA: Bringing Information to You across a road!
The National Weather Service can help. We issue It’s an incredibly senseless way to
flood forecasts, watches and warnings for every U.S. die and is completely avoidable.
community every day of the year. Meteorologists and NOAA has adopted the flood safety
hydrologists at 122 weather forecast offices, 13 river slogan: Turn Around, Don’t Drown!
forecast centers and nine national centers use cutting edge and hopes you will remember this when
technology to monitor the atmosphere, rivers and you’re faced with a flooded roadway and an
streams, develop river forecasts, and issue watches and important decision to make.
warnings for floods and flash floods. (continued on back)
It only takes six inches of slow-moving water to lose Flood Facts
control of a big, heavy vehicle, and to knock people off
4 Since 1900, floods have
killed more than 10,000
Review flood safety and preparedness tips so that you people in the U.S.
will know what to do if you are suddenly faced with a
4 Motorist can lose control
flood. Great resources include www.floodsmart.gov and
of their vehicles in just
six inches of water.
4 Most homeowners
In Advance:. insurance does not cover
4 Create an evacuation plan before a flood.
4 Floods are the second-most common of all natural
4 Discuss flood plans with your family; everyone
disasters, after wildfires.
should know what to do in case family members
are not together during a flood. 4 Mud slides result from long, heavy rain on
hillsides causing soil, large rocks, boulders, and
4 Purchase flood insurance: talk to your insurance
homes to slip free.
agent about coverage options.
4 Heavy spring floods often occur when rain and
When Floods Strike:
warm temperatures cause snow to melt rapidly.
4 Get to higher ground, away from the flooded area.
4 Ice jams occur as melting
4 Use a battery-operated NOAA Weather Radio All snow and heavy rain
Hazards to receive up-to-date emergency break frozen rivers into
information. large ice flows often piling
up at bridges and narrow
4 Evacuate immediately, if advised to do so.
passages causing water
4 Do not cross a flooded road. It may be more to backup and overflow
dangerous than it appears. riverbanks.
4 Be especially cautious at 4 Most flash floods are caused by slow moving
night when it is more thunderstorms, those that move repeatedly over the
difficult to see a flood. same area or heavy rain from tropical storms and
hurricanes. They can develop within minutes,
4 Keep emergency supplies
depending on the intensity and duration of the rain,
on hand, such as non-
the topography, soil conditions and ground cover.
perishable food, medicine,
maps, a flashlight and For more information, visit www.weather.gov/water.
To learn more about NOAA, visit http://www.noaa.gov.