This lesson will discuss FLOODS.

  •      What causes them.
  •     The dangers associated with them.
  •      How to determine your RISK LEVEL of them.

FLOODS: What they are and what can cause them.


A very basic and simple definition of a FLOOD is: A situation that develops when the amount of water present in a typically dry land area, exceeds the capacity of the area to drain itself.  Too much water and Not enough drainage.

FLOODS can be Caused by:

  • Heavy rainfall from storms or melting snow.
  • Rivers, streams and other bodies of water that have exceeded their capacities or may have their drainage capacities reduced due to blockages  like ice dams or debris.
  • Storm surge caused by hurricanes.
  • Tsunamis caused by earthquakes.
  • Urban flooding caused by storm sewer systems being overwhelmed by rainfall or melting snow.
  •  Infrastructure Failure such as a collapse of a dam.

A FLOOD can range from an inconvenience like when one of your local streets is closed due to water in the street; To a full fledged catastrophe that has the capacity to kill millions.


The deadliest FLOOD happened in August 1931 on the Huang He River in China.  This flood caused 4,000,000 deaths.


FLOODS have the capacity to:

  • Impact very large areas.
  • Cause huge amounts of damage.
  • Can cut off your escape routes.

Who knows if a tree has just fallen in a river downstream from you and is causing a debris dam to form?  Or that new housing development a few streets from you has changed the topography of the land and now water is being diverted to your neighborhood.


FLOODS are KILLERS.  And you need to know what your level of risk is.


Don’t think that because you never had a FLOOD in the past – that you won’t have one in the future. 


Your Risk Level for being impacted by FLOODS in your location.


OK, so lets determine our first risk factor:  Risk Of FLOOD.

The following two sites are FREE sites and will take you NO MORE than 5 minutes for you to determine your risk level of a FLOOD. offers an easy and quick way to get your risk rating for FLOODS in your area.

Side Note: When you go to this site, check out the Red Warning Label in the Blue Area at the top of the site. “WARNING: Floods are Americas #1 Natural Disaster.”  The government has spent a lot of time and money to put this data together.  Being that this data and analysis was done with tax payers money [Read: Your Money], USE IT.  You paid for it – Use It.   The historical data on FLOODS speaks for itself.

This site offers a lot of good information about FLOODS.  I highly recommend exploring it when you have the time.

So let’s check out the level of RISK of FLOOD is for your location.

Flood Risk

Your risk level will look like this image (possibly with a different risk level).


Pull out the Risk Level Form you downloaded and printed out.   Simply insert the risk level being reported for your location on the chart.

•  If the website indicated that you have a “HIGH-RISK” for Flood.  Then put a check mark into Column 5 HIGH.

•  If it indicates a “LOW RISK” , then enter it in Column 1 LOW.   Whatever the report comes back as – you just enter into the corresponding column.


If you want to get additional information regarding FLOODS in your area, you may want to visit FEMA’s Flood Map Service Center.

This site offers a detailed site map for specific geographical areas.  You simply type in your address and you are presented with detailed aerial maps of the areas with the flood areas mapped out for you.  This is how I found out that a corner of my property was located in a High Risk flood area.

  • Click on the link: Click on this button if you would like to go to the site:   FEMA Flood Map Service Center
  • Enter your address. Street Address, City, State and ZIP Code.  All on one line in the box.
  • Click on the SEARCH Button.
  • You may need to ZOOM IN or ZOOM Out to get your specific address.
  • It will be highlighted by the RED LOCATOR PIN.
  • Choose either to VIEW or DOWNLOAD the Flood Map.


It’s a little difficult to read but if you play around with it, you can get much detailed information for your area.

I found that the “Download” map was the easiest to read.

So, now you have your Probability level of a FLOOD happening in your area.  If you haven’t already entered your risk for FLOOD on your Risk Level Form  -please do so before moving forward.

See, I told you it was going to be quick and easy.


This is what you should be taking away from this module:


  1. What is a FLOOD.
  2. What cause a FLOOD.
  3. FLOODS are killers.
  4. FLOOD can impact large areas.
  5. FLOODS can cause huge amounts of damage.
  6. FLOODS can cut off an escape route.
  7. Don’t assume that if you never had a FLOOD in the past – that you won’t have a FLOOD in the future.
  8. FLOODS are America’s #1 Natural Disaster.
  9. How to determine the Risk of a FLOOD for a specific location.



If you would like to learn more about floods, please click on the links below:

Looking for Something Specific?  Try Our Category Listing Below.

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