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  • FLASH FLOOD: A flash flood is a sudden violent flood that can take from minutes to hours to develop. It is even possible to experience a flash flood in areas not immediately receiving rain.
  • FLOOD ADVISORY: Issued when flooding is not expected to be bad enough to issue a warning. However, it may cause significant inconvenience, and if caution is not exercised, it could lead to situations that may threaten life and/or property.
  • FLOOD WATCH: Issued when conditions are favorable for flooding. It does not mean that flooding will occur, but it is possible.
  • FLASH FLOOD WARNING: Issued when a flash flood is imminent or occurring. If you are in a flood prone area move immediately to high ground.
  • FLOOD WARNING: Issued when the hazardous weather event is imminent or already occurring.
  • STORM SURGE WARNING: There is a danger of life-threatening inundation from rising water moving inland from the shoreline somewhere within the specified area, generally within 36 hours. If you are under a storm surge warning, check for evacuation orders from your local officials.


  • Be weather-ready: Check the forecast regularly to see if you’re at risk for flooding.  Listen to local news or a NOAA Weather Radio to stay informed.
  • Know your risk. Are you in a floodplain? Where is water likely to collect on the roadways you most often travel? What is the fastest way to get to higher ground? Knowing the answers to these questions ahead of time can save your life.
  • Sign up for notifications: UIU utilizes the UIU Alert system in the event of an emergency.
  • Prepare. Don’t wait until the last moment to gather essentials and charge your electronics. Sometimes floods develop slowly and forecasters can anticipate where a flood will happen days or weeks before it occurs. Oftentimes flash floods can occur within minutes and sometimes without any sign of rain. Being prepared can save your life and give you peace of mind.
  • Don’t wait. If it is likely that your area will flood, don’t wait to be ordered to leave; evacuate immediately.

In an Emergency

  • Stay Informed. Listen to radio and television, including NOAA Weather Radio if possible. Check the internet and social media for information and updates.
  • Get to Higher Ground. If you live in a flood prone area or are in a low-lying area, get to higher ground immediately. During a flood, water levels and the rate the water is flowing can quickly change. Evacuate immediately when water starts to rise. Don’t wait until it’s too late!
  • Obey evacuation orders. If told to evacuate, do so immediately. Lock your doors when you leave.
  • Practice electrical safety. Don’t go into a basement, or any room, if water covers the electrical outlets or if cords are submerged. If you see sparks or hear buzzing, crackling, snapping or popping noises, get out immediately.
  • Avoid flood waters: Don’t walk through flood waters. It only takes 6 inches of moving water to knock you off your feet. If you are trapped by moving water, move to the highest possible point and call 911 if possible. Do NOT drive into flooded roadways or around a barricade. It only takes 12 inches of water to float a car or small SUV. Water may be deeper than it appears and can hide hazards (e.g., sharp objects, washed out road surfaces, electrical wires, chemicals).
  • Activate the nearest fire alarm and notify others of the danger.
  • Dial 911 for help. Give the dispatcher the following information:
    1. Building you are in.
    2. Floor you are on.
    3. Number of people you believe are still inside the building.
  • If the fire is small and can be extinguished safely and quickly, you may use the fire extinguishers that are located throughout the buildings on campus. When using a fire extinguisher remember…

The P.A.S.S. Fire Extinguisher Method

    • Pull the safety pin from the handle.
    • Aim the extinguisher at the base of the fire.
    • Squeeze the trigger handle.
    • Sweep from side to side to side at the base of the fire.

Additional Information

  • If the fire is large, very smoky or rapidly spreading do not attempt to extinguish the fire. Just exit the building.
  • As you are exiting the building, knock on doors and alert all occupants of the fire.
  • Close but do not lock all doors as you exit the building, if you can do so safely. This will help to contain the fire.
  • Do not use elevators.
  • Avoid smoke-filled areas.
  • Prior to opening any door, feel it from top to bottom. If it is hot, do not proceed and find an alternate escape route.
  • If the door is cool to the touch, crouch low and open the door slowly.
  • If there is smoke present, close the door quickly so that you do not inhale the smoke. If there is no smoke present, proceed to exit the building.
  • If you are trapped in the building:
    1. Keep the doors closed.
    2. Seal the cracks and vents if smoke comes in.
    3. If there is no smoke outside the window, open the windows to let the heat and smoke out and to let fresh air in.
    4. Hang an object outside of the window to attract the attention of the Fire Department and others that might be outside.
    5. If possible dial 911 to let them know of your situation and your location.