Flood Safety Tips

Thankfully the National Hurricane Center has said that Hurricane Joaquin, although very powerful right now in the Bahamas, will likely not make landfall in the United States. However, the risk of flooding is still very high. While some floods develop slowly, flash floods can develop in a few minutes and without real warning. Knowledge is key when preparing for a weekend like this.


  • Flood Watch – This means that flooding is possible. Tune in to NOAA Weather Radio or your local television station for more information.
  • Flash Flood Watch – This means that flash flooding is possible. Be prepared to move to higher ground if necessary. Again, tune in to NOAA Weather Radio or your local television station for more information.
  • Flood Warning – This means that flooding is occurring or will occur soon. If you are advised to evacuate, then EVACUATE.
  • Flash Flood Warning – This means a flash flood is occurring and you should seek higher ground on foot immediately.


  • Six inches of water will reach the bottom of most cars and can cause a loss of control and possibly stall the car.
  • A foot of water can float many vehicles.
  • Two feet of rushing water can carry away pretty much any vehicle (including SUVs and trucks).

The National Weather Service started a phrase “Turn Around Don’t Drown” because of the extremely high number of deaths due to flooding. Many of these deaths are due to cars being swept away. Please watch their PSA:


If flooding does occur and you find yourself with nowhere to go, numerous shelters are typically set up in the event of a natural disaster. Check with your local Red Cross chapter or call one of the other hotlines listed below. These resources may be helpful in providing temporary housing after a flood or financial assistance for people who have lost homes.

  • Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), 800-621-FEMA (800-621-3362), http://www.fema.gov
  • Red Cross Hotline, 800-RED-CROSS (800-733-2767), http://www.redcross.org
  • The Salvation Army, 703-684-5500, salvationarmyusa.org

Flood damaged homes can also have mold. To assess the extent of mold in your home, reach out to a mold testing company in your area. In the Triangle, you can contact:

Stay safe in this nasty weather! We are a real estate team who cares about our clients. If you are considering selling your home and would like some honest, professional, and experienced guidance, please contact Joe Ward at 919-518-8182 or joe@joeward.net.


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