Presidential disaster declarations related to flooding in the United States (1965-2003). Green represent one declaration; yellow represent two declarations; orange represent three declarations; red represent four or more. (Source: USGS (


Floods are one of the leading causes of death from natural disasters in the United States.

Over 200 flood-related fatalities are reported each year with over half being vehicle-related when people try to drive through floodwaters. Floods can damage and devastate homes and farms, displace families as well as pets and livestock, damage crops, and disrupt agriculture processing and business.

Flood situations are variable and can occur as a result of spring snowmelt, severe thunderstorms, prolonged rains, inadequate drainage or failure of levees and dams. The impact can be local affecting a neighborhood or community, or very large, affecting entire river basins and multiple states. Some develop slowly – allowing time to prepare and evacuate – while others (e.g., flash floods) can develop quickly, even within minutes.

While flood situations cannot be entirely prevented, steps can be taken to prevent or minimize injury and loss and speed the recovery process. The following resources will help you prepare your family, home and farm, animals and business for flood situations.

Flood Preparedness Factsheets

Floods and Your Family [PDF]
More Family Resources

Floods and Your Home [PDF]
More Home Resources
Floods and Your Pets [PDF]
Floods and Your Livestock [PDF]
More Pet and Livestock Resources
Floods and Your Farm [PDF]
More Farm Resources
Floods and Your Crops [PDF]
More Crop Resources
Floods and Your Business [PDF]
More Business Resources

Know the Terminology

Flood Watch: Conditions are favorable for flooding. Be Prepared!

Flood Warning: Flooding is imminent or already happening. Take Action!

Flash Flood Watch: Conditions are favorable for flash flooding - typically within 6-48 hours. Be Prepared!

Flash Flood Warning: Flash flooding is imminent or occurring. Move immediately to high ground. Take Action!

Determine the risk of flooding in your area.

Interactive State Flooding Information Map
Click on a state to learn more about the types of flooding that has occurred there.
National Weather Service
Water Watch: Map of Flood and High Flow Conditions
Map showing current flood or high flow conditions in the United States.
U.S. Geological Survey

Learn about Floods and Their Impact

100-Year Flood - It's All About Chance
Information explaining the concept and uncertainties of the "100-year" flood.
U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)
Emergency Preparedness and Response: Floods
CDC's main website of flood preparedness, response and recovery information.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
FEMA Flood Map Service Center
Website with FEMA flood maps - find flood maps for your area or address.
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
Flood Hazards - A National Threat
Factsheet describing the impact of floods and USGS monitoring efforts.
U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)
Flood Information
NDSU-Extension flood preparedness and recovery website - contains factsheets, weblinks, podcasts and more.
North Dakota State University Extension Service
Flood Warning vs. Watch
Website discussing the differences in flood watches and warnings issued by the National Weather Service.
National Weather Service
Floodplain Management Resources
Website listing Kansas Department of Agriculture Floodplain Management newsletters.
Kansas Department of Agriculture
Floods: The Awesome Power
Guide explaining floods, with suggestions for preparing for a flood situation.
National Weather Service (NOAA NWS)
Large Floods in the United States: Where They Happen and Why
Document discussing the largest floods that have occurred within the United States.
U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)
NOAA River Forecasts Website
Monitor river conditions in your area for flood watches and warnings.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
USGS Natural Hazards
Main website of the USGS on flood related resources, including mapping of flood and high flow water conditions in the United States.
U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)