Floods are among the most frequent and costly natural disasters. Flooding often occurs following a hurricane, thawing snow, or several days of sustained rain. Flash floods occur suddenly, due to rapidly rising water along a stream or low-lying area. Learn what to do to keep your loved ones safe.

Flooding can occur in several ways, including the following:

  • Rivers and lakes cannot contain excessive rain or snowmelt.
  • Excessive rain or snowmelt cannot be fully absorbed into the ground.
  • Waterways are blocked with debris or ice and overflow.
  • Water containment systems, such as levees, dams, or water or sewer
    systems, break.
  • Strong winds from tropical storms or hurricanes cause a storm surge by pushing
    seawater onto land.
  • Indoor or outdoor pipes or water heaters that leak or break.

Check out the links to the right to learn more about Getting Prepared for Floods.

Note:  FEMA’s Flood Map for Palo Alto has not been updated since 2009 and thus does not show the impact of expected groundwater and sea level rise induced flooding.  Flooding can happen further inland than is shown in FEMA’s flood map.  Flood insurance is always a good idea.

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