Flooding is an overflowing of water onto land that is normally dry. There may be various reasons a flood could occur. Some examples are excessive rain from a severe storm, excessive snow melt, ice jambs restricting river flow, shoreline erosion or flooding, or a dam failure. It may may develop slowly or quickly. Flash floods can come with no warning. Failing to evacuate flooded areas, entering flood waters or remaining after a flood has passed can result in injury or death. 

Before the flood:

Planning and preparedness are key for families and businesses to be able to cope with flooding. The planning effort for flooding will be fairly consistent regardless of what caused the flood. Flood insurance programs are also vitally important for residents living near flood prone areas and along the shoreline where erosion is possible.

  • Sign up for B-WARN to receive Berrien county emergency alerts. 
  • Make a family emergency communication plan and include pets. 
  • Make an emergency kit.
  • Know if floodwaters might effect your home and property. 
  • Obtain Flood Insurance.
  • Protect your property. 
    • Move valued items to higher levels. 
    • Declutter drains and gutters. 
    • Consider a sump pump with a battery. 
  • Know and practice evacuation routes. 

During the flood:

  • Find a safe shelter right away. 
  • Do not walk, swim, or drive through flood waters. Turn Around, Don't Drown!
  • Depending on the type of flooding:
    • If advise to Evacuate, do so immediately.
    • Move to a higher ground.
    • Stay where you are. 
  • Stay off bridges over fast-moving water.
  • If a vehicle stalls leave it immediately.  
  • Children should NEVER play around high water or storm drains.

be safe after:

  • Avoid flood waters. 
  • Avoid Disaster areas. 
  • Do not use electrical equipment until it is dry and checked. 
  • Listen to authorities for information and instructions. 
  • If food has come in contact with flood waters throw it out. 
  • Boil drinking water before using. Water should be tested before using. 

know the difference:

Flash Flood Warning- TAKE 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. 

Flood Warning- TAKE ACTION! A Flood Warning is issued when the hazardous weather event is imminent or already happening. 

Flood Watch- BE PREPARED! Flood Watch is issued when conditions are favorable for a specific hazardous weather event to occur. It does not mean flooding will occur, but it is possible. 

Flood Advisory- BE AWARE: An Flood advisory is issued when flooding in 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.