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 draught) is caused by floods and associated debris flow.
Most communities in the United States can experience some kind of flooding. Melting snow can combine with rain in the winter and early spring; severe thunderstorms can bring heavy rain in the spring or summer; or hurricanes can bring intense rainfall to coastal and inland states in the summer and fall.
Regardless of how a flood occurs, the rule for being safe is simple: head for higher ground and stay away from floodwater. Even a shallow depth of fast-moving floodwater produces more force than most people imagine.
You can protect yourself by being prepared and having time to act. Local radio or television stations or a NOAA Weather Radio are the best sources of information in a flood situation.