Florida Hazards Watch - Floods
Flooding is one of Florida's most frequent hazards.
What is your Community's flood risk?
There are different reasons a community may flood; storm surge, river flooding or heavy rainfall. Low-lying or poorly drained areas can also increase a community's flood risk. To protect yourself, learn what flood threats affect your community.
- Determine if there are rivers or creeks that flood frequently.
- Is your home located in a low-lying area?
- Determine your home's elevation.
Due to the relatively flat terrain across Florida, it is complicated to drain accumulated water. When rivers rise, water tends to spread out far from riverbanks. In the case of the 1997-98 El Niño floods, rising rivers and repeated periods of heavy rainfall combined to pool water over land miles away from rivers. In fact, normally small rivers turned into vast lakes.
Pooling of water poses a significant risk, not as much from swift moving water, but more from ones inability to judge water depth. Water only inches deep can be next to water that is several feet deep.
Where Can You Go For Up-To-Date Info?
- 2009 PANHANDLE FLOOD UPDATE - Suwannee River Water Management District
- FLOOD OUTLOOK - Southeast River Forecast Center.
- FLOOD INFORMATION CENTER - National Weather Service Hydrological Information Center.
- EXCESSIVE RAINFALL OUTLOOK - Hydrometeorological Prediction Center.
- DAY 1 PRECIPITATION FORECAST - Hydrometeorological Prediction Center.
- DAY 2 PRECIPITATION FORECAST - Hydrometeorological Prediction Center.
- DAY 3 PRECIPITATION FORECAST - Hydrometeorological Prediction Center.
- FLOOD WATCHES - Updated as needed by local NWS offices.
- FLOOD WARNINGS - Updated as needed by local NWS offices.
- HAZARDOUS WEATHER OUTLOOK - Issued daily by local NWS offices to advise storm spotters and emergency managers of potentially hazardous weather and other hazards.
What Actions Should You Take To Be Prepared?
- Determine whether you live in a potential flood zone.
- Keep abreast of road conditions through the news media. Move to a safe area before access is cut off by flood water.
- Develop a flood emergency action plan. Flood Preparation and Safety brochure put out by NOAA and FEMA gives you information to prepare.
- Have FLOOD INSURANCE. Flood damage is not usually covered by homeowners insurance. Do not make assumptions. Check your policy.
The National Flood Insurance Program, is a pre-disaster flood mitigation and insurance protection program. The National Flood Insurance Program makes federally backed flood insurance available to residents and business owners
National Flood Insurance Program call 1-888-CALL-FLOOD ext. 445, TDD# 1-800-427-5593.
- Purchase and use a NOAA Weather Radio.
- Inquire if your Community is StormReady.
Safety Tip: Flooding and Fire Ants
During flooding conditions, colonies of fire ants are capable of floating in clusters or "rafts," posing a threat to anything encountering them.
After flooding, be cautious as you lift objects. Fire ants can be under anything – from under rocks to old wood or debris on the ground. They can even enter structures through tiny cracks and crevices after a flood. If you are stung, rub off ants briskly. Anyone with a history of severe allergic reactions to insect bites or stings should consider carrying an EpiPen (epinephrine auto injector) and wear medical identification stating their allergy. More information about dealing with fire ants.
The Department of Health has issued the following guidelines to communities affected by flooding.
- Alert to private well owners in flooded areas
- Health risks from displaced animals
- Commonly asked questions regarding boil water advisories
- Carbon monoxide dangers
- Frequently asked question about carbon monoxide
- Flood waters poses health risks
- Precautions for food safety
- Mold in water-damaged buildings
- Risks to water supply due to storm
- Mosquito-borne illnesses
- If your well is flooded
- Tetanus for individuals who suffer wounds
- Wound care and preventing wound infections in disaster events