Flooding – Know the Terms
Flooding is one of the most common weather-related disasters faced by many areas in Wisconsin. Water levels often rise after the snow melts, during spring rains, and following heavy thunderstorms. Learn how to protect your family and property.
- Flood Watch:
Flooding is possible. Tune in to NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio, or television for information. Watch for alerts on your cell phone and check social media for additional information from trusted sources.
- Flash Flood Watch:
Flash flooding is possible. Be prepared to move to higher ground; listen to NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio, or television for information. Watch for alerts on your cell phone and check social media for additional information from trusted sources.
- Flood Warning:
Flooding is occurring or will occur soon; if advised to evacuate, do so immediately.
- Flash Flood Warning:
A flash flood is occurring; seek higher ground on foot immediately.
During a Flood
If a flood is likely in your area, you should:
- Listen to the radio or television for information.
- Be aware that flash flooding can occur. If there is any possibility of a flash flood, move immediately to higher ground. Do not wait for instructions to move.
- Be aware of streams, drainage channels, canyons, and other areas known to flood suddenly. Flash floods can occur in these areas with or without such typical warnings as rain clouds or heavy rain.
If you must prepare to evacuate, you should do the following:
- Secure your home. If you have time, bring in outdoor furniture. Move essential items to an upper floor.
- Turn off utilities at the main switches or valves if instructed to do so. Disconnect electrical appliances. Do not touch electrical equipment if you are wet or standing in water.
If you have to leave your home, remember these evacuation tips:
- Do not walk through moving water. Six inches of moving water can make you fall. If you have to walk in water, walk where the water is not moving. Use a stick to check the firmness of the ground in front of you.
- Do not drive into flooded areas. If floodwaters rise around your car, abandon the car and move to higher ground if you can do so safely. You and the vehicle can be quickly swept away.
Driving Flood Facts
Never drive through flooded areas. Water may have washed away the road or could cause you to lose control of your vehicle. Turn around don’t drown!
- Six inches of water can reach the bottom of most passenger vehicles, causing a vehicle to stall
- A vehicle can float in just a foot of water
- Just two feet of rushing water can carry away most vehicles including sport utility vehicles (SUVs) and pick-up trucks
Click here for Wisconsin Flood Toolkit