Be Prepared: Flood Awareness Week 2013

Flooding is the number two weather killer in the United States, ahead of tornadoes and severe weather, and is the costliest weather-related disaster we face. While much of the focus remains on thunderstorms and tornadoes, flooding can often be an underrated danger.  National Flood Safety Awareness Week, March 18 through 22, 2013, is intended to highlight some of the many ways floods can occur, the dangers associated with floods, and what you can do to save life and property.

A Flash Flood Warning is issued for flooding that normally occurs within six hours of heavy or intense rainfall. This results in small creeks and streams quickly rising out of their banks. Dangerous flooding in areas near these creeks and streams, as well as low-lying flood prone areas, develops very quickly and is a significant threat to life and/or property. In these cases, the water is also flowing at a good rate and is hazardous.

An Areal (pronounced AIR - e - al) Flood Warning is normally issued for flooding that develops more gradually, usually from prolonged and persistent moderate to heavy rainfall. This results in a gradual ponding or buildup of water in low-lying, flood prone areas, as well as small creeks and streams. The flooding normally occurs more than six hours after the rainfall begins, and may cover a large area. However, even though this type of flooding develops more slowly than flash flooding, it can still be a threat to life and property.

Learn more about floods and how you can prepare.