Prepare for floods

Floods are both very common and very dangerous. They can occur because of short prolonged periods of rain, tropical storms and hurricanes, or dam breaches. It is important to take precautions before a flood happens. Some floods can develop slowly while flash floods can develop in just a few minutes.

If an event occurs that could lead to flooding, listen to the radio, watch television, and pay attention to any information from Alert Montgomery for instructions and warnings.

Terms to know

  • A Flood Watch means flooding is possible.
  • A Flood Warning means flooding is occurring or will occur soon (and evacuations may be necessary).
  • A Flash Flood Watch means flash flooding may be possible.
  • A Flash Flood Warning means flash flooding is occurring; seek higher ground.

Flood Watch = “Be Aware.”

During a flood watch, conditions are right for flooding to occur in your area.

Steps to Take

  • Turn on your TV/radio. You will receive the latest weather updates and emergency instructions.
  • Know where to go. You may need to reach higher ground quickly and on foot. Have a family emergency plan ready.
  • Build or restock your emergency kit . Include a flashlight, batteries, cash, and first aid supplies. Check your emergency kit regularly.
  • Sign up for Alert Montgomery to get updates directly to your cell phone or email.

Prepare Your Home

  • Bring in outdoor furniture and move important indoor items to the highest possible floor. This will help protect them from flood damage.
  • Disconnect electrical appliances and do not touch electrical equipment if you are wet or standing in water. You could be electrocuted.
  • If instructed, turn off your gas and electricity at the main switch or valve. This helps prevent fires
  • If possible, clear storm drains of leaves and debris and check gutters.
  • If your basement is prone to flooding, move valuables to a higher location.
  • Store valuables and important personal papers in a waterproof container.

Plan your travel

  • Avoid areas subject to flooding, including low spots, canals and streams. Know alternate routes to avoid those areas.
  • Remember, never attempt to drive over a flooded road – you can be stranded or trapped. The depth of the water and the condition of the road is not always obvious and very difficult to determine at night.

Flood Warning = "Take Action!"

During a flood warning, flooding is either happening or will happen shortly.

A flood warning is issued when flash flooding of streams, creeks and low lying areas is occurring or imminent. The County is expected to get between three and five inches of rain during that time with periods of very heavy rain within sustained steady and moderate rainfall. Montgomery County emergency responders and planners encourage residents to stay aware of the changing weather forecasts and make plans in advance to mitigate their effects

Steps to Take

  • Move immediately to higher ground or stay on high ground. Get out of areas subject to flooding. This includes dips, low spots, canyons, washes etc.
  • Evacuate if directed.
  • Avoid walking or driving through flood waters. Turn Around, Don’t Drown®! Just 6 inches of moving water can knock you down and one foot of moving water can sweep your vehicle away.
  • Avoid areas already flooded, especially if the water is flowing fast. Do not attempt to cross flowing streams. Turn Around Don't Drown®!
  • Road beds may be washed out under flood waters. NEVER drive through flooded roadways. Turn Around Don't Drown®!
  • Do not camp or park your vehicle along streams and washes, particularly during threatening conditions.
  • Be especially cautious at night when it is harder to recognize flood dangers.
Flash floods - watch versus warning. Watch. Conditions could allow flash flooding to occur. Be prepared for changing conditions. Stay alert for further possible warnings. Sign up for Alert Montgomery to stay informed. Warning. Flash flooding is imminent or occuring. Take action now to protect life and property. Seek higher ground. Do not drive or walk through flooded and barricaded roadways.