What’s the Difference Between a Flood Warning and a Flood Watch?

flash floodIf you live in a region that is prone to flooding, it’s important to know the difference between the types of flooding. Flash floods are extremely threatening, and besides heat-related deaths, they cause the highest number of climate hazard fatalities each year. They can happen so quickly that there isn’t time to send out a flood warning alert. Knowing the difference can save you from the hassle of a flood occurring in your home.


The definitions of flood warning and flood watch are very different from other types of severe-weather conditions. Just because you may know the difference between a winter storm warning and a winter storm watch, does not mean that you should assume you know the difference between a flood warning and a flood watch.


  • A flood watch is issued first. This means that a flood is not guaranteed, but the current weather conditions are favorable for a flood to occur.

  • A flood warning happens second. This means that a flood is either imminent or occurring.


What to do during a flash flood:

  1. Have an emergency plan and kit ready to go.

  2. Stay up to date on weather forecasts.

  3. Don’t wait until a flood warning to take action. Plan ahead during a flood watch.

  4. Follow evacuation orders immediately.

  5. Move to the highest point possible and call 911.

  6. Don’t drive or walk near flooded areas.

If you have experienced a flash flood and it left damage to your home, call AAA Flood Drying for wall and floor flood-drying today! 978-392-1895