Know the difference between a flood watch, warning

Contact: Jennifer Bowen
(334) 269-3550


While flood insurance typically covers the repair or replacement of the built structure of your home in the event of a flood, understanding the need to evacuate is critical to your safety. More than half of flood-related deaths happen when people drive vehicles into flood water. People who try walking into or near flood waters make up the second-highest percentage of flood-related deaths.

In addition to keeping your insurance information in a safe place, you should be aware of the differences between the National Weather Services issued advisories, watches, and warnings.

  • Flood Advisory — Heavy rain is forecast to occur and may require additional action. Stay tuned to your local radio or tv station to stay informed.
  • Flood Watch — A flood watch is issued when conditions are favorable for flooding. It doesn't mean flooding will occur, but you should be prepared. This has a higher likelihood of flooding than a flood advisory.
  • Flood Warning — A flood warning is issued when a hazardous weather event that may cause a flood is imminent or underway.
  • Flash Flood Warning — A flash flood is a sudden, intense flood that can take from minutes to hours to develop. A flash flood warning is issued when a flash flood is imminent or occurring.

The NAIC also offers the following information about flood risks, preparation and insurance.

See more: 

A guide to understanding flood insurance

Six questions to ask your agent about flood insurance