Floods are one of the most frequent natural disasters in America and the most deadly. The National Weather Service and your local weather service issue flood warnings, advisories, and flood watches to help you predict when floods will occur. What are the differences? Let’s see what the differences are.

Flood Advisory: What Does It Mean?

A flood advisory is the lowest level of flood notification. This means that flooding may be possible because of a weather event but it is unlikely to cause severe damage.

It’s important to keep an eye on weather alerts in order to determine if flooding is imminent. You could endanger your property or life if you fail to exercise caution.

Flood Watch: What Does It Mean?

A flood watch is issued prior to a flood warning. It indicates that flooding is likely in your area within the next 24 hours. A flood watch does NOT mean flooding is likely, but it indicates that the conditions are favorable to flood.

Even though floods are not always likely, it is best to be prepared for them. Prepare to move to higher ground as soon as you receive the notice. You can monitor alert notifications and receive the most recent weather updates via local radio, NOAA Weather Radio or TV stations. Flood watch could quickly become a flood warning.

Flood Warning: What Does It Mean?

Flood warnings indicate that flooding is either imminent or already occurring. Flood warnings often include important information that can help you overcome flooding, such as safety tips and evacuation procedures. They also provide location details for emergency shelters.

Flood warnings are a warning to avoid low-lying areas. Stay tuned to TV and radio stations for weather updates. If you are urged by local authorities to evacuate immediately, do so.

Flash Flood Warning

Flash floods are violent, sudden floods that can occur in a matter of minutes or less when it rains or levees or dams burst. Flash floods are more likely in densely populated areas like cities.

Flash floods can occur so quickly, it is difficult to issue flash flood warning alerts. You should immediately seek higher ground if you are alerted to a flash flooding situation. Even in areas that it did not rain at the time of the flash flood warning, flash floods can still occur.

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