Wisconsin Emergency Management

Flood Safety Tips and Myths

Turn Around...Don't Drown! Turn Around...Don't Drown!

  • Many floods occur along streams and rivers. You can determine your risk by knowing your proximity to the water.
  • Urban areas have a risk for flash floods due to increased runoff from buildings, roads and parking lots. Low spots, such as underpasses and basements, can become death traps.
  • Dam failures have played a deadly role in the history of flash flooding. Be aware of dams upstream from your location. Earthen dams and associated embankments are more easily compromised by heavy rainfall.
  • If a warning is issued or flooding is observed, move to higher ground.
  • When camping or hiking near a stream or river, listen to the latest weather forecasts and keep away from the water if thunderstorms are expected.
  • Do not attempt to walk or drive through a flooded roadway or intersection. Only six inches of fast-flowing water can knock an adult off their feet. And it takes just two feet of moving water to float a vehicle. Turn around, don't drown!
  • Beware of flooding potential along the Lake Michigan shoreline in the wake of a line of strong thunderstorms with high winds that move across the lake. The winds push water to the east shoreline which then rebounds to the west shore as a flood wave called a "seiche."

Flooding Myths & Truths

ReadyWisconsin is an initiative of Wisconsin Emergency Management designed to educate and empower Wisconsinites to prepare for
and respond to all kinds of emergencies including natural disasters and potential terrorist attacks.

Wisconsin Emergency Management
2400 Wright St.
Madison, WI 53704
Phone: 608.242.3000     Fax: 608.242.3247