With about 6”-8” of rain possible through next Friday, flooding like many have never seen before in the Tennessee Valley is a real concern. With the influx of new residents over the years, many who live in flood-prone areas may not realize they are at risk.

The most important thing to do right now is to be prepared.

Here are a few things to think about suggested by the National Weather Service as the rains begin moving in.

1) Know your risk. Are you in a flood plain? Where is water likely to collect on roadways if you need to evacuate? Where is a safe area in higher ground if you need to evacuate? FEMA 100 Year flood map

2) Prepare your home. Confirm you have flood insurance above your homeowners insurance. Prepare sandbags ahead of time. Talk with a plumber about protecting against water backing up in your house.

3) Prepare personally. Be prepared to evacuate, and leave when you feel uneasy. Don’t wait for an evacuation order. Have all essential electronics charged. Do not leave your pets. Board them or take them with you.

4) Make sure your cell phone and portable radios are all charged in case you lose power or need to evacuate. Also make sure you have back-up batteries on hand.

Also, knowing the difference between a flood watch and a flood warning (and other notices) can be helpful:

  • 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. 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 Warning: Take Action! A Flood Warning is issued when the hazardous weather event is imminent or already happening. A Flood Warning is issued when flooding is imminent or occurring.
  • Flood Watch: Be Prepared: A Flood Watch is issued when conditions are favorable for a specific hazardous weather event to occur. A Flood Watch is issued when conditions are favorable for flooding. It does not mean flooding will occur, but it is possible.
  • Flood Advisory: Be 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.

Hopefully, this will spark some ideas and conversation with your family about keeping your home safe.

And for the latest on the forecast for next week make sure you are plugged into WRCBtv.com and add the WRCB Weather app to your phone or tablet.