Spring Rains May Cause Flash Flood Potential

Residents are urged to plan ahead to protect themselves from flooding.
According to state emergency management officials, flash floods can strike with little or no warning and can reach full peak in only a few minutes.  As flash flood conditions develop, the National Weather Service will issue a flash flood watch or a flash flood warning - each representing a different level of danger.  
  • A flash flood watch means that flooding may occur.  Residents should keep alert and watch rivers and streams.  If they rise - don't wait; move to high ground quickly.
  • A flash flood warning means that there is actual flooding.  Residents should act at once and move to high ground.
Those living in flood-prone areas should listen carefully to all severe weather warnings and act immediately if protective measures are advised. Develop a family plan that identifies evacuation routes and a place to meet in case your family gets separated.  And, don’t drive into low-lying areas or over roads and bridges that are already under water.   It’s just plain common sense.  
Flood preparedness tips:
  • Find out if you live in a flood-prone area from your local emergency management office
  • Ask whether your property is above or below the flood stage water level and learn about the history of flooding for your region
  • Learn flood-warning signs and your community alert signals.  Request information on preparing for floods and flash floods.
  • Have check valves installed in building sewer traps to prevent flood waters from backing up in sewer drains
  • Plan and practice an evacuation route.  Contact the local emergency management office for a copy of the community flood evacuation plan.  This plan should include information on the safest routes to shelters.  Individuals living in flash flood areas should have several alternative routes.
  • Have disaster supplies on hand, including:
      1. Flashlights and extra batteries
      2. Portable, battery operated radio and extra batteries
      3. First aid kit and manual
      4. Emergency food and water
      5. Non-electric can opener
      6. Cash, credit cards and important legal documents
      7. Sturdy shoes
  • Develop an emergency communication plan.  In case family members are separated from one another during floods or flash floods (a real possibility during the day when adults are at work and children are at school), have a plan for getting back together. Ask an out-of-town relative or friend to serve as the "family contact." After a disaster, it is often easier to call long distance. Make sure everyone in the family knows the name, address, and phone number of the contact person.
  • Make sure that all family members know how to respond after a flood or flash flood and teach all family members how and when to turn off gas, electricity, and water.
  • Teach children how and when to call 9-1-1, the police, the fire department, and which radio station to tune to for emergency information.
  • Be aware that standard homeowner’s policies do not cover flood damage.
Additional flood safety information and weather updates can be found on the PA PowerPort at http://www.state.pa.us/ PA Keyword: "Emergency Management".