Floods are the most common and widespread of all natural disasters - except fire. Floods can be slow or fast rising and generally develop over a period of days.
Flash floods usually result from intense storms dropping large amounts of rain within a brief period. Flash floods occur with little or no warning and can reach full peak in only a few minutes.
In the United States, an average of 100 people lose their lives in floods annually, with flood damage averaging more than $2 billion. The Midwest's "Great Flood of 1993" cost 48 lives and more than $12 billion. Flash floods are the #1 weather-related killer in the United States.
Before the flood:
â€¢Find out if you live in a flood-prone area.
â€¢Plan and practice an evacuation route.
â€¢Have disaster supplies on hand.
â€¢Develop an emergency communications plan.
â€¢Learn about the National Flood Insurance Program.
During the flood:
â€¢Stay informed. Turn on a battery-operated radio or television to get the latest emergency information. Turn Around Dont Drown.gif
â€¢If advised to evacuate, do so immediately.
â€¢Avoid walking through floodwater. Water only six inches deep can sweep you off your feet if it is moving swiftly.
â€¢Do not drive into a flooded street. Cars can be swept away by two feet of moving water or there may be unseen damage to the road. If you come to a flooded area turn around and go another way. Most flood-related deaths are caused by people driving through water.
â€¢Watch out for fire hazards.
After the flood:
â€¢Take care of yourself first.
â€¢Dry out your home.
â€¢Restore the utilities.
â€¢Rebuild and flood proof.
â€¢Prepare for the next flood.
Protect yourself from the next flood with flood insurance, a flood response plan and community flood protection programs.
For more information:
â€¢American Red Cross information on flood and flash flood safety.
â€¢Oklahoma Floodplain Managers Association promotes sound floodplain management practices and the natural and cultural benefits of the floodplain.
â€¢Are you ready? has terms and tips for what to do before, during and after a flood.
â€¢National Flood Insurance Program, has information about the NFIP program.
â€¢Floods...The Awesome Power