Flood Safety: How to understand flood-related terminology

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What does a flood watch or flood warning mean?

Flood Safety: How to understand flood-related terminology

Flood Safety: How to understand flood-related terminology

(WFXR) – When flooding is in the forecast, it’s important to understand flood-related terminology.

Flood Advisory:

  • A Flood Advisory is placed in effect during an active rainfall event where flooding is possible, but doesn’t quite meet the criteria for a Flood Warning. This alert usually runs from as little as 30 minutes to as much as several hours and can encompass an area from part of a county to a few counties, depending on the area adversely affected by flooding.

Flood Watch:

  • A Flood Watch means that conditions are favorable for flooding. This alert usually encompasses several counties and/or parts of an entire state(s). A Flood Watch can be in effect for anywhere from several hours or even several days. It simply means to be vigilant about the potential for flooding.

Flash Flood Watch:

  • A Flash Flood Watch means that conditions are favorable for heavy rainfall that could produce quick flooding. As with a normal Flood Watch, this alert can have an areal coverage of several counties and/or parts of an entire state(s). This alert can be placed in effect for a few hours to as long as a day or two. It, too, means that you should be aware about the possibility for flash flooding.

Flood Warning:

  • A Flood Warning refers to a call to action to prepare for flooding that is imminent or is already occurring. Usually, this alert is for either a county or two or parts of a county. This alert can be placed in effect for a few hours or even several days after a rain event has occurred, but flood waters are lingering.

Flash Flood Warning:

  • A Flash Flood Warning is like a regular Flood Warning, but this alert means that flooding is either imminent or is already occurring. It is also typically placed in effect in the midst of a heavy rain event that’s causing rapidly-rising flooding. This alert is usually in effect for a time of as little as 30 minutes or as much as several hours. Action should be taken to protect life and property.

Flash Flood Emergency:

  • A Flash Flood Emergency is the highest alert issued for flooding. It means that flooding is occurring and has become a threat to life and/or property. Evacuation orders are likely in effect for flood-prone areas. Actions to protect life and property is necessary. This alert can be placed in effect for as little as 30 minutes to as much as several hours and is usually limited to small locations, possibly as small as part of a city and/or town or as much as a county or two.

A NOAA Weather radio is an ideal tool to have because modern weather radios have the capability for the user to set detailed alerts for not only the type of weather you want to be informed of, but for your specific location. Modern weather radios have the ability for you to program an alert to be toned for your area. You may not want to be alerted for a situation in a western county if you’re located in an eastern county.

Of course, you should never drive through flooded roadways. Remember, turn around…don’t drown.

Remember these tidbits about flooding. It could help save your life if you ever find yourself in a situation that you need to take immediate action in order to protect life and property.

It’s also a great idea to have a flood disaster kit on the ready should you need it. To view the ideal items to have in your flood disaster kit, click here.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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