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A storm can be a devasting event, but even more dangerous is the flooding that may come afterwards.

Most people don't live in flood prone areas but even so, a heavy downpour can cause flooding in the unlikeliest of places. A flood may result from a bursted dam, unusually high tides, from a log jammed river or stream, or a clogged drainage ditch.

The danger associated with flooding is not just the water. In many cases, floods cause diseases due to the accumulation of raw sewage and the rotting carcuses of animals and plants that have been drowned or swept up in the rising water.

Flash floods are the most dangerous because they move so quickly bringing mud and huge amounts of debris with them. Flash floods may not last that long but fast moving water, especially in low lying areas, can create a wall of water many feet deep. Flash floods are usually caused by heavy run off down a mountainous or hilly terrain, a broken dam, or if there is heavy rain in a normally arid or desert like location.

Even if your area has never been hit by a flood, you should still know and understand the dangers of flooding, especially flash floods, because floods are known to inundate cities, towns, rural areas, and cause many injuries and deaths.

Watches and Warnings: What to do.

When a flood WATCH is issued:

  • 1. Move valuable household possessions to the upper floors of your home.
  • 2. Fill your car's gas tank in the event an evacuation order is issued.

When a flood WARNING is issued:

  • 1. Tune in for information and advice to local radio and TV stations.
  • 2. When told to evacuate, do so as quickly as possible.

When a flash flood WATCH is issued:

  • 1. Watch for signs of flash flooding and be ready to evacuate on a moment's notice.

When a flash flood WARNING is issued:

  • 1. If you believe flash flooding has begun, evacuate immediately as you may have only seconds to escape.
  • 2. Move to higher ground and away from rivers, streams, creeks and storm drains. Do not drive around barricades. These are place to keep you out of harm's way.
  • 3. If your car stalls in rapidly rising waters, abandon it immediately and climb to higher ground.

Flood Insurance: Most homeowner's insurance policies do NOT offer protection against flood losses. For information about flood insurance, call your local insurance agent, or call the National Flood Insurance Program at (888) Call-Flood.

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