top of page

Flood Advisory vs. Flood Watch vs. Flood Warning

Floods. They are the most common natural disasters in the United States (and the most dangerous). The National Weather Service or your local weather service issues flood watches, warnings, and advisories, to help you know when to expect a flood. But what are the differences between the three?

I’m Chris Parks with North Star Services, LLC and I’m going to explain the differences between a flood watch, a flood warning, and a flood advisory.

What's A Flood Advisory?

A flood advisory is the mildest level of a flood notification. It means that a flood may be possible due to a problematic weather event, but the flooding is expected to be less severe if it occurs.

It’s best to monitor weather alerts to know if the flooding risk will turn into something more serious. If you don’t exercise any form of caution, you may put your life or property in danger.

What's A Flood Watch?

A flood watch is issued before a flood warning and indicates that flooding in your area is possible within the next 24 to 48 hours. While a flood watch does not mean flooding will likely occur, the conditions are favorable for a flood.

It would be best if you prepared for a flood even though the chance of a flood is not guaranteed. Be ready to move to higher ground immediately after the notice. Monitor alert notifications and get the latest updates on the weather via your local radio, NOAA Weather Radio, or TV stations. A flood watch could quickly turn into a flood warning.

What's A Flood Warning?

When a flood warning is issued, flooding is imminent or is already happening. The flood warning typically includes important information to help you overcome floods, such as safety tips, evacuation procedures, location of emergency shelters, and more.

A flood warning is a sign to avoid low-lying areas and stay tuned to radio or TV stations to get weather updates. If local officials advise you to evacuate, immediately do so in the safest, calmest way possible.

What's A Flash Flood Warning?

Flash floods are sudden, violent floods that occur quickly, usually in six hours or less, when it rains heavily or when levees and dams break. Densely populated areas, such as cities, are at high risk for flash floods.

Since flash floods can happen so fast, unfortunately, there isn’t always time to send out a flash flood warning alert. If you do learn of a flash flood warning, seek higher ground immediately. Flash floods can develop even in areas where it didn’t rain when the warning was issued.

Flash Flood Red Tags

It’s difficult to predict flash floods, so you should always be aware of the conditions that lead to them:

  • Flash floods occur within six hours of a rain event

  • Listen for news of dam or levee failures

  • Watch for slow-moving storms that repeatedly move over the same area

  • Hurricanes are another big source of intense rain

  • If you see water collecting in pools, the ground is oversaturated & flooding can occur

Remember, if you are under a flood warning, seek shelter right away, and don’t forget to protect your property from flooding. For water damage, water removal and mold removal services, contact your local water and flood damage experts.

In Case of Flooding, Safety First

In case of flooding on your property, remember safety first. Lives are more important than belongings. Following are tips to follow when flooding is imminent.

  • Listen to local area radio, NOAA radio or TV stations for the latest updates

  • Find safe shelter right away

  • Do not walk, swim or drive through flood waters. Turn Around, Don’t Drown!

  • Remember, just six inches of moving water can knock you down

  • One foot (12 inches) of moving water can sweep your vehicle away

  • Stay off bridges over fast-moving water

  • Depending on the type of flooding:

    • Evacuate if told to do so

    • Move to higher ground or a higher floor

    • Stay where you are

Remember: standard homeowners insurance doesn’t cover flooding but flood insurance does. Get information at

Request A Free Inspection Today

Have you recently experienced a flood or water damage? As a certified IICRC restoration and remediation company in Nashville, Berry Hill & throughout Middle Tennessee, North Star Services, LLC uses state-of-the-art equipment to inspect and treat both commercial and residential properties. We provide free mold and other restoration inspections. And, are available 24/7, 365 days a year for emergencies such as water damage, fire damage, trauma cleanup, flood and storm damage and more. Contact us at 629-221-0638 or request a free estimate now.

Like this? If so, subscribe today to receive future Blog posts, news & updates from North Star Services, LLC.

25 views0 comments


bottom of page