Flood Safety Tips              Turn Around Don't Drown Sign









Flash flood waves move at incredible speeds and can roll boulders, tear out trees, destroy buildings and bridges, and scour out new channels. Potentially deadly walls of water can reach heights of 10 to 20 feet. There will sometimes be little or no warning that a flash flood is occurring. When a flash flood warning is issued for your area, or the moment you realize that a flash flood is imminent, act quickly. You may have only seconds to save your life.

On average, more people are killed by flooding than by any other single severe weather hazard, including tornadoes, lightning, and hurricanes. Most of these deaths occur at night, when it is more difficult to recognize the dangers, and when people are trapped in vehicles.  Do you and your family know what to do in case of a flood?

What to listen for

  • Flash Flood or Flood Watch - flash flooding or flooding is possible within the designated WATCH area - Be alert!

  • Flash Flood or Flood Warning - flash flooding or flooding has been reported or is imminent. Take necessary precautions at once!

  • Urban and Small Stream Flood Advisory - Flooding of small streams, streets, and low-lying areas, such as railroad underpasses and urban storm drains is occurring or is about to occur.

  • Flash Flood or Flood Statement - Follow-up information regarding a flash flood/flood event.

What to do

           1. When a Flash Flood Warning is issued...

  • Act quickly to save yourself. You may have only seconds!

  • Get out of areas subject to flooding. This includes dips, low spots, canyons, and washes.

  • Avoid already flooded and high velocity flow areas. Do not attempt to cross flowing streams.

  • If driving, be aware that the road bed may not be intact under flood waters. Turn around and go another way. NEVER drive through flooded roadways.

  • If the vehicle stalls, leave it immediately and seek higher ground. Rapidly rising water may engulf the vehicle and its occupants and sweep them away. Remember, it is better to be wet than dead.

  • Be especially cautious at night when it is harder to recognize flood dangers.

  • Do not camp or park your vehicle along streams and washes, particularly during threatening conditions.

 2. When a Flood Warning is issued...

  • If advised to evacuate, do so immediately.

  • Move to a safe area before access is cut off by flood water.

  • Continue to monitor NOAA Weather Radio, television, or emergency broadcasts for information.

  • Be alert for rising waters and water over roads.


  • DO NOT drive onto a flooded roadway. 
  • DO NOT drive through flowing water.

Turn Around Don't Drown Sign

If you approach a roadway that is flooded, TURN AROUND - DON'T DROWN. Drive with extreme caution if roads are even just wet or it is raining. You can lose control of your vehicle if hydroplaning occurs, which is when a layer of water build up between your tires and the road, causing there to be no direct contact between your vehicle and the road.

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