Floods are among the most frequent and costly natural disasters in terms of human hardship and economic loss. As much as 90 percent of the damage related to all natural disasters (excluding droughts) is caused by floods and associated debris flows. Most communities in the United States can experience some kind of flooding. Over the 10-year period from 1988 to 1997, floods cost the Nation, on average, $3.7 billion annually. Flash floods occur within six hours of a rain event, or after a dam or levee failure, or following a sudden release of water held by an ice or debris jam, and flash floods can catch people unprepared. You will not always have a warning that these deadly, sudden floods are coming. So if you live in areas prone to flash floods, plan now to protect your family and property.
Know the Difference Between Watches and Warning
A National Weather Service (NWS) WATCH is a message indicating that conditions favor the occurrence of a certain type of hazardous weather. The NWS Storm Prediction Center issues such watches. Local NWS forecast offices issue other watches (flash flood, winter weather, etc.) 12 to 36 hours in advance of a possible hazardous-weather or flooding event. Each local forecast office usually covers a state or a portion of a state.
An NWS WARNING indicates that a hazardous event is occurring or is imminent in about 30 minutes to an hour. Local NWS forecast offices issue warnings on a county-by-county basis.
Plan for a Flood
- Develop a Family Disaster Plan. Please see the "Family Disaster Plan" section for general family planning information. Develop flood- specific planning.
- Contact your local Red Cross chapter, emergency management office, local National Weather Service office, or planning and zoning department about your area's flood risk.
- Knowing the elevation of your property in relation to nearby streams and dams will let you know if forecasted flood levels will affect your home.
SERVPRO of Tarrytown/Elmsford's trained technicians are available 24/7 to assist with your cleanup and restoration needs, call (914)358-9000