The National Weather Service has a suite of flood forecast and warning tools that can provide you with critical advance notice of floods. This video will provide you an overview of how to sign up for “flood alerts” using an RSS feed.
These tools can share with you predictions of flood levels (i.e., how high the river will get) as well as flood timing (i.e., how high it will be at a certain time of day).
To sign up for alerts, you will first need to identify the stream gage nearest you. You can do that here. Once you zoom in and find the gage nearest you, click on the button for that gage, and you will see a “hydrograph,” or a chart that shows you current river levels. If a flood is predicted in your area, the hydrograph will also show you predicted flood levels and timing. (In some locations, the hydrograph will estimate future river levels regardless of whether a flood is predicted). It is a good idea to bookmark this page and check it regularly during times when the river level is rising or expected to flood. Additionally, if you sign up for the alerts, you will receive notice to your Internet browser, RSS reader, email, and if you have one, smart phone email, when a flood watch or warning is issued. National Weather Service employees themselves say not to wait until a formal “Flood Warning” is issued to start getting prepared: that may be too late. Instead, keep abreast of river levels, so you have plenty of time to prepare your go-kit and evacuate if needed.
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