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2019 Spring Outlook

Nearly two-thirds of the lower 48 states face an elevated risk for flooding from March until the end of May 2019, with the potential for major or moderate flooding in 25 states, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA’s) U.S. Spring Outlook issued on March 21st. The majority of the country is favored to experience above-average precipitation this spring, increasing the flood risk. For NOAA’s full Spring Outlook, visit their website.


NOAA produces seasonal outlooks to help communities prepare for weather and environmental conditions that are likely during the coming months. Heavy rainfall at any time can lead to flooding, even in areas where overall risk is considered low. The latest information for a specific area, including official watches and warnings are available at



Where should I go to find out what is happening locally?

When severe weather is in the forecast, it is important for citizens and business owners to monitor the situation and be proactive to protect themselves, their family, and their property. Local officials have a variety of ways to get information to the public. You can obtain reliable emergency information from television stations (for example, WBAL, WMAR, WJZ, WBFF, Anne Arundel County’s Community TV station), radio stations (for example, WNAV 1430 AM, WYRE 810 AM, WYPR 88.1 FM, El Zol 99.1 FM, WFSI 107.9 FM, WBAL 1090 AM), the National Weather Service, and the Office of Emergency Management.


Flooding can occur at any time of the year in Anne Arundel County. Flooding is extremely dangerous and can happen very quickly with little warning. When flooding occurs, it can cause a just a few inches or several feet of water. Flooding can be a result of heavy rain, tropical storms, hurricanes, storm surge, or dams overflowing. Flooding occurs quickly and may require evacuation.


What you should know about Flood Safety
  • Make a family emergency communication plan, that also includes pets
  • Have emergency supplies in place at home, at work, and in the car
  • Check on your neighbors to make sure they are okay
  • Know what to do before, during, and after a flood
  • There is typically a 30 day waiting period from when you purchase a flood insurance policy to when it goes into effect
  • Listen to local officials by radio, TV, or social media
  • Evacuate when advised by authorities or if you are in a flood or flash flood prone area
  • If you are on high ground above flooded areas, being prepared to stay where you are may be the best protection
When located in a building
  • Be prepared to shelter-in-place or evacuate, if necessary
  • Secure your home
  • Bring in outdoor furniture, move essential items to an upper floor
  • Turn off utilities at the main switch, if instructed to do so
  • Return home only when authorities say it is safe
  • Be cautious at night
When located in a vehicle
  • Turn around, don’t drown!
  • Reroute your travel away from the source of flooding
  • Just one foot of water can carry your vehicle away
  • Do not cross flooded bridges or roadways
  • If water rises around your vehicle but the water is not moving, exit the vehicle to higher ground
When located outdoors
  • Immediately move to higher ground and away from the source of flooding
  • It only takes six inches of water to knock a person off their feet
  • Do not attempt to cross flooded walkways, streams/rivers, or sidewalks
  • Do not enter moving water
  • Do not camp in dry stream beds


What you should know about Severe Weather

Severe weather and tornadoes can strike at any time. It is important to heed all warnings from officials. These storms have the potential to bring hail, rain, strong winds, and lightning. Lightning is hotter than the surface of the sun and has the potential to extend 10 miles out from a thunderstorm. Tornadoes are very dangerous and can pack wind speeds in excess of 150 miles per hour.

When located in a building
  • Avoid contact with electrical equipment or cords
  • Avoid contact with plumbing
  • Stay indoors, away from windows and doors
  • Seek shelter in an interior room, such as a closet, bathroom, or basement, if possible
  • Get to the ground and cover your head and neck
When located in a vehicle
  • Safely exit the roadway and park, if possible
  • Stay in the vehicle and turn on the emergency flashers
  • Avoid touching metal inside and outside of the vehicle
  • Remember! Rubber tires do not provide protection from lightning
When located outdoors
  • Postpone outdoor activities
  • Move indoors as soon as you see or hear lightning
  • If you are in a forest, seek shelter in a low area under a thick growth of small trees
  • In an open area, go to a low place like a valley
  • In water, get to land and find shelter immediately..







Weather Safety Materials for Individuals with Disabilities

Weather safety should be accessible to everyone because it is something we face everyday. Symbol-supported weather safety materials have been created specifically for individuals with disabilities.

Lightning, heat, flood safety, wildfires, cold, and tornadoes and their accompanying safety precautions are discussed throughout the materials. These materials will help to educate individuals with disabilities on dangerous weather conditions in their area and the important safety precautions that come with them, which in turn, will ensure their safety and well-being and create a Weather-Ready Nation for all!