Flood Prediction and Preparedness Resources
For farmers, landowners, business and residents: online flood information resources at a national scale. Many have a zoom function to check your own area:
- Flood prediction, information and safety (NOAA)
- Real-time streamflow and flood stages (USGS)
- Flood risk management (USACE)
- Flood preparedness (FEMA)
- Emergency protection and loans (NRCS)
- Disaster assistance programs (FSA)
- Forest flood recovery (USFS)
- Emergency preparedness for small businesses (SBA)
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/National Weather Service - Flood Prediction, Information & Safety - Real-time Flood Hazards
- National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/National Weather Service River Observations:
Maps of gauge stations indicate rivers in stages of flooding in the past 24 hours, from no flooding to major flooding. Pull down menu to zoom into individual states. Click on the gauge station icon for real-time river hydrograph and relation to flood stage (MA example). Some gauge stations have links to graphs predicting the probability of exceeding weekly, peak 6-hour flows (Connecticut River).
A guidebook, “Hydrologic Information on the Web, A Manual for Users,” describes site content associated with the tabs on the landing page and is available at: http://www.nws.noaa.gov/os/water/ahps/resources/Hydrologic_WebProducts_Manual.pdf.
- NOAA, National Weather Service Long-Range Experimental Flood Risk:
Gauge station maps indicate percent chance of exceeding river flood levels over seasonal time periods. User can specify percent chance and time periods. Can zoom to individual states.
- NOAA, National Weather Service Significant River Flood Outlook:
See locations over a five-day period where floods are 1.) occurring or imminent; 2.) likely; or 3.) possible. Click on an area to navigate to a particular region of the U.S. Flood Outlook is intended for a general view of flooding. It is not intended to show minor flooding such as localized or flash flooding.
- NOAA, National Weather Service Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service:
Shows daily observed precipitation (inches) for conterminous U.S. Zoom to individual states.
- USGS Current Water Data for the Nation:
Daily Streamflow Conditions: Colored dots indicate real-time stream flow and gauge height conditions as a percentile at gauge stations for the current date. Only gauge stations with greater than 30 years of record are included. Interactive map allows the user to go to a particular state and stream gauge.
- USGS Water Alert:
Users can subscribe to receive alerts via email or text message to mobile devices for user-selected gauge stations. Subscribers can specify discharge levels and/or gauge heights to trigger an alert. Alerts are based on real-time data transmitted from gauge stations approximately one to four times per hour. Links to the Water Alert subscription form are provided on individual gauge site pages.
- Flood Risk Management for the Public:
Landing page includes information and links to various agencies (From USACE):
- Is my home or business at risk of flooding?
- Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA’s) FloodSmart Program describes different types of flood risk and steps that can be taken to reduce economic damages to flooding.
- FEMA's National Flood Insurance Program’s mapping program provides a searchable database of Digital Flood Insurance Rate Maps: https://msc.fema.gov/portal.
- The National Levee Database is a repository that includes the location and key information for levees covered under USACE programs.
- The National Inventory of Dams is a repository of information about 79,000 dams throughout the U.S.
- What can I do to reduce my risk?
- FEMA has several programs that assist individuals in becoming aware of and reducing their family’s flood risk. FEMA’s Ready website provides great background information on floods and specific actions that individuals and families can take to better prepare, withstand, and recover from flooding.
- So You Live Behind a Levee is a document developed by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) that describes the nature of risk associated with levees and floodwalls.
- Turn Around Don’t Drown is a campaign by NOAA to provide information on actions individuals can take to keep themselves out of harm’s way: http://www.nws.noaa.gov/os/water/tadd/.
- Learn about the history of floods in your area. An ongoing effort by NOAA is publically displaying the high water marks of previous floods: http://www.nws.noaa.gov/os/water/high_water/.
- Federal agencies are also working together to create flood inundation maps that can help you determine if your home or business is at risk. Take a look at http://water.usgs.gov/osw/flood_inundation/.
- For more information on preparedness and how you can reduce your risk of flooding, visit http://www.ready.gov/floods.
- What do I do if I’m flooded?
- First of all, know your flood risk and know what to do if a flood is predicted. Your local community is responsible for making and announcing flood evacuation decisions.
- Individuals and businesses that have purchased flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program will be able to seek a claim and be able to recover more quickly.
- The Small Business Administration provides loans to get qualified businesses up and running again after a flood.
- The U.S. Department of Agriculture Crop Insurance Program helps pay for agricultural losses due to flooding
- Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) – Flood Risk, Preparedness, Grants :
Links to information about the National Flood Insurance Program for residences and businesses. Also links to sites about flooding, flood risks and flood preparation and recovery.
Before a Flood – Links to flood hazard maps links, flood insurance information, how to make a flood emergency kit and family communications plan
- Causes of flooding
- Flood hazard terms
- Driving: Flood facts
- National Flood Insurance Program:
Tabs for information on:
- Plan, Prepare, Mitigate
- Disaster, Survivor Assistance
- Response and Recovery
- Topics and Audiences
- Digital Flood Insurance Rate Maps:
Portal to the Flood Map Service Center with map information on flood risks and associated insurance programs.
- Hazard Mitigation Assistance:
(From USACE site) Five Hazard Mitigation Assistance grant programs provide funding for eligible activities that reduce disaster losses and protect life and property from future disaster damages:
- Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) — HMGP assists in implementing long-term hazard mitigation measures following Presidential disaster declarations. Funding is available to implement projects in accordance with state, tribal, and local priorities.
- Pre-Disaster Mitigation (PDM) — PDM provides funds on an annual basis for hazard mitigation planning and the implementation of mitigation projects prior to a disaster. The goal of the PDM program is to reduce overall risk to the population and structures, while at the same time, also reducing reliance on Federal funding from actual disaster declarations.
- Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) — FMA provides funds on an annual basis so that measures can be taken to reduce or eliminate risk of flood damage to buildings insured under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
- Repetitive Flood Claims (RFC) — RFC provides funds on an annual basis to reduce the risk of flood damage to individual properties insured under the NFIP that have had one or more claim payments for flood damages. RFC provides up to 100% Federal funding for projects in communities that meet the reduced capacity requirements.
- Severe Repetitive Loss (SRL) — SRL provides funds on an annual basis to reduce the risk of flood damage to residential structures insured under the NFIP that are qualified as severe repetitive loss structures. SRL provides up to 90% Federal funding for eligible projects.
- Emergency Watershed Protection (EWP) Program:
The EWP program responds to natural disasters which need not be federally declared emergencies. Provides financial and technical assistance to:
- Remove debris from stream channels, road culverts, and bridges,
- Reshape and protect eroded banks,
- Correct damaged drainage facilities,
- Establish cover on critically eroding lands,
- Repair levees and structures, and
- Repair conservation practices.
Requires that landowners work with a project sponsor such as a municipality, conservation district or other state or local agency. NRCS will contribute up to 75 percent of the cost. The remaining 25 percent must be contributed from local sources as cash or in-kind services.
- Farm Loan Programs – Emergency Farm Loans:
- Restore or replace essential property
- Pay all or part of production costs associated with the disaster year
- Pay essential family living expenses
- Reorganize the farming operation
- Refinance certain debts, excluding real estate
- Disaster Assistance Programs - Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honey Bees, & Farm-raised Fish:
Farm Bill (2014) provides emergency relief to producers of livestock, honey bees, and farm-raised fish. Covers losses from disasters, including floods and other conditions, not adequately covered by any other disaster program. Intended for livestock producers on non-federal lands.
- Disaster Assistance Programs - Livestock Indemnity Program:
Provides benefits to livestock producers for livestock deaths in excess of normal mortality caused by adverse weather. LIP payments are equal to 75 percent of the market value of the applicable livestock on the day before the date of death of the livestock as determined by the Secretary. The LIP covers eligible livestock losses back to October 1, 2011.
- Disaster Assistance Programs – Emergency Forest Restoration Program:
Helps the owners of non-industrial private forests restore forest health damaged by natural disasters. Payments may be authorized to owners of private forests by the local FSA County Committee. Limit of $500,000 per person or entity per disaster applies.
- Disaster Assistance Programs – Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program:
Provides financial assistance to producers of noninsurable crops when low yields, loss of inventory or prevented planting occur due to a natural disaster, including floods.
- Federal Crop Insurance Corporation:
Portal to crop insurance site.
- Flood Recovery Information:
Provides information and links about flood conditions in U.S. Forest Service properties.
- Emergency Preparedness – Disaster Assistance:
Links to information about:
- Home and Property Disaster Loans
Renters and homeowners alike may borrow up to $40,000 to repair or replace clothing, furniture, cars, appliances, etc. damaged or destroyed in the disaster. Homeowners may apply for up to $200,000 to repair or replace their primary residence to its pre-disaster condition.
- Disaster Assistance Loans
SBA provides low interest disaster loans to homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes and private, nonprofit organizations to repair or replace real estate, personal property, machinery & equipment, inventory and business assets that have been damaged or destroyed in a declared disaster.
- Economic Injury Loans
If your small business or private, nonprofit organization has suffered economic injury, regardless of physical damage, and is located in a declared disaster area, you may be eligible for financial assistance from the U.S. Small Business Administration.
- Military Reservist Economic Injury Disaster Loans
Provides funds to eligible small businesses to meet their ordinary and necessary operating expenses that they were unable to meet due to an essential employee being "called-up" to active duty in their role as a military reservist.
- Farm Emergency Loans
Offers emergency loans to help producers recover from production and physical losses due to drought, flooding, other natural disasters, or quarantine.
- Home and Property Disaster Loans