Flood Awareness & Safety Steps

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Stay Tuned In

  • Listen to your radio, TV, or National Weather Service Radio for the latest information on weather conditions that can cause flooding.
  • Flash Flood Watch – Means conditions exist that may lead to flash flooding.
  • Urban and Small Stream Advisory – Flooding of small streams, streets and low-lying areas is occurring. 
  • Flash Flood Warning – Flash Flooding has been reported.

Stay Alert

  • Avoid unnecessary travel during severe weather. Poor visibility can make trips dangerous.
  • Warn children not to play near swollen creeks, storm drains or culverts.
  • Do not go near creeks and low-water crossings. Beware of rising, swift-moving water. Bear Creek can rise to dangerous levels in as little as one hour. Man-made features such as storm drains, fences and culverts create additional “strainers” that can snag and drown even the strongest swimmer.

If a flood is likely in your area

  • 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 typical warning. 



Do not drive or walk into water that is flowing across low-water crossing, bridges or roadways. If you come upon a flooded road, turn around and go another way. Heed all WARNINGS and STREET BARRICADES. You are subject to a fine if you go around the sign.

Vehicle and Driving Flood Facts

  • Six inches of water will reach the bottom of most passenger cars causing loss of control and possible stalling.
  • A foot of water will float away vehicles.
  • Two feet of rushing water can carry away most vehicles, including sport utility vehicles (SUVs) and pick-up trucks. More people drown in their cars than anywhere else.
  • Vehicles may stall or get stuck in the water, and then get pushed off the road. Once off the road, cars often start to roll, making escape impossible.

Home Evacuation Tips

  • Do not walk through moving water; 6 inches of 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 flood waters rise around your car, abandon the car and move to higher ground if you can. You and the vehicle can quickly get swept away.
    Move to a safer area.
  • Evacuate your house if instructed to do so. Follow emergency instructions! It is easier and much safer to evacuate before flood waters become too deep.
  • If the waters start to rise inside your house before you have evacuated, retreat to the second floor, attic or roof. Take dry clothing, a flashlight and a portable radio with you, and wait for help. Don’t try to swim to safety; wait for the rescuers to come to you.



  • Listen for news reports to learn whether the community’s water supply is safe to drink.
  • Avoid moving water. 
  • Avoid flood waters; water may be contaminated by oil, gasoline or raw sewage. Water may also be electrically charged from underground or downed power lines. 
  • Be aware of areas where flood waters have receded; roads may have weakened and could collapse under the weight of a car. 
  • Stay away from downed power lines and report them to the power company. 
  • Return home only when authorities indicate that it is safe. 
  • Stay out of any building if it is surrounded by flood waters. 
  • Use extreme caution when entering buildings; there may be hidden damage, particularly in foundations. 
  • Service damaged septic tanks, cesspools, pits and leaching systems as soon as possible. Damaged sewage systems are serious health hazards. 
  • Clean and disinfect everything that got wet! Mud left from floodwater can contain sewage and chemicals. 
  • Document the damage – take color photographs or video of any damage resulting from the flood.