Floods can happen when it rains for several days or there is heavy rainfall in a short period of time. Floods are the most common natural disaster and floods cause the most damage of any natural disaster. Many homes and businesses across the United Stated are built in floodplains. Floodplains are land that is likely to flood. Flash floods happen when the heavy rains cannot be absorbed by the ground. Flash floods happen very quickly.
When there is a possibility that flooding might happen, you will hear the terms flood watch or flood warning on the news. A flood watch means that water in a river or stream could rise about the banks in 12 to 36 hours. A flood warning means that flooding will happen very soon or that flooding is already happening.
During a Flood Watch
· Be sure that all family members have a list of emergency contact phone numbers and identification in case you are separated.
· Make sure important documents are in waterproof containers.
· Find some place for your pet to go. Most emergency shelters do not allow pets.
During a Flood Warning
· If you are told to evacuate, follow all directions right away.
· Listen to local radio stations for updates, new directions and road conditions.
· Be careful of flood water. Two feet of water can carry away a car. Only six inches of water that is moving quickly can knock a person down.