Flooding Awareness


Preparedness and Education Lancaster County Emergency Management Agency


Flooding is a temporary surplus of water on dry land and is the most common natural disaster in Pennsylvania. Floods can happen anywhere even if you are far away from a major water source.flood 1

Flooding may:

  • Result from storms, snow melt, storm surges, ice, and overflow of dams and other water systems.
  • Occur slowly or rapidly. Flash floods can occur rapidly with no warning.
  • Cause major power outages, slow down/disrupt transportation, damage buildings and infrastructures, and create landslides.


A major component of preparing for a flood consists of knowing your area’s type of flood risk. Some areaflood 2.1s are more prone to flooding, visit FEMA’s Flood Map Service Center for more information. 

Practice evacuation routes and have back up locations/shelters in place. Obtaining flood insurance is a great way to protect your property during floods, homeowners insurance does not cover flooding damage. Visit floodsmart.gov for more information. Protecting your property also consists of moving valued items to higher levels and keeping important documents in waterproof containers. 



Do not walk, swim, or drive through flood waters. Turn Around. Don’t Drown. Six inches of moving water is enough to knock a person down and one foot of moving water can sweep your vehicle away. If evacuating, never drive around barricades. Responders use them to direct traffic out of flooded areas. 

Stay off of bridges over fast-moving water. Fast-moving water can wash bridges away with no warning. If your vehicle is trapped in moving water, stay inside. Seek refuge on the roof if water is rising inside the vehicle.flood 3 Opens in new window

 Click the image above to learn more about Turn Around, Don't Drown.

Flood WatchBe Prepared! Issued on days when flooding is more likely on a river or large creek. A Flood Watch means flooding in the area is more likely than on a normal day, but that flooding is not currently expected.
Flood WarningTake Action! Issued when flooding is forecast or occurring. A Flood Warning means flooding is expected or has been reported at designated river forecast points.
Flash Flood WarningTake Action! A Flash Flood Warning is issued when a flash flood is imminent or occurring. If you are in a flood prone area move immediately to high ground. A flash flood is a sudden violent flood that can take from minutes to hours to develop. It is even possible to experience a flash flood in areas not immediately receiving rain.
Flood AdvisoriesBe Aware: An Flood Advisory is issued when a specific weather event that is forecast to occur may become a nuisance. A Flood Advisory is issued when flooding is not expected to be bad enough to issue a warning. However, it may cause significant inconvenience, and if caution is not exercised, it could lead to situations that may threaten life and/or property.
Areal Flood WarningsMay be issued for flooding on parts of rivers or large creeks not covered by designated river forecast points.
Levee/Dam  Man-made structures to contain or prevent water from moving past a certain location. 

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Additional Sources