Floods can happen anytime during the year, such as after winter snowmelts, spring thunderstorms and fall hurricanes. When fire devastates a forest, little is left to hold the top soil in place so rains can send dangerous amounts of gushing water and mud.
Flash floods are rapidly developing floods that can happen with little or no warning. Flash floods can occur in mountainous areas on small streams, on rivers and even in towns. Water levels can suddenly rise in heavy rainstorms, leaving little time before small streams become raging rivers.
Stay safe from floods by following these tips:
- Know your area's flood risks and weather hazard bulletins by visiting weather.gov or your local news stations.
- Stay alert for signs of heavy rain with thunder and lightning where you are and upstream. Watch for rising water levels.
- Get to higher ground before flooding happens.
- It is NEVER safe to drive or walk into floodwaters. Turn Around Don't Drown®
- Avoid areas already flooded, especially if the water is flowing fast.
- Do not attempt to cross flowing streams.
- Don't try to swim to safety; wait for rescuers to come to you.
- Be especially cautious at night when it is harder to recognize and respond to danger. During threatening conditions, do not camp or park your vehicle along streams and rivers.
- Be Ready
Remember: You are responsible for your safety and for the safety of those around you.