What to Do During a Flood Watch

When a flood or flash flood watch is issued:
  • Listen continuously to a NOAA Weather Radio, or a portable, battery-powered radio (or television) for updated emergency information. Local stations provide you with the best advice for your particular situation.
  • Everyone in a watch area should be ready to respond and act quickly. Floods and flash floods can happen quickly and without warning. Be ready to act immediately.
  • Be alert to signs of flooding, and if you live in a flood-prone area, be ready to evacuate at a moment's notice. Floods can happen quickly and you may need to leave with little or no notice.
  • Follow the instructions and advice of local authorities. Local authorities are the most informed about affected areas. They will best be able to tell you areas to avoid.
If your residence is in a flood-prone area:
  • Fill bathtubs, sinks, and plastic bottles with clean water. Water may become contaminated or service may be interrupted.
  • Bring outdoor belongings, such as patio furniture, indoors. Unsecured items may be swept away and damaged by flood waters.
  • Move your furniture and valuables to higher floors of your home. If flood waters affect your home, higher floors are less likely to receive damage.
  • If you are instructed by local authorities, turn off all utilities at the main power switch and close the main gas valve. In some areas, local authorities may advise you to turn off utilities to prevent further damage to homes and the community.
  • Get your pre-assembled disaster supplies ready. You may need to act quickly. Having your supplies ready will save time.
  • Fill your car's gas tank, in case an evacuation notice is issued. If electric power is cut off, gas stations may not be able to operate pumps for several days.
  • Be prepared to evacuate. Local officials may ask you to leave if they truly feel your home is at risk from flood waters.