© Dimitri Defrance


Let’s behave responsibly

Flood risk information service for the main rivers of France - Download the app

Understanding rain and floods

Throughout summer 2022, we have experienced exceptional periods of drought and unprecedented forest fires. So far, 2023 looks set to be a similar year for temperatures around the Mediterranean arc. The Mediterranean’s current surface water temperatures are way above normal. This means that the drought could be followed by intense downpour and violent storms on the Mediterranean arc, which may cause flooding. By being prepared, by behaving responsibly, we can save lives.


How is the ‘Mediterranean episode’ phenomenon created?

Mediterranean episodes are linked to rising hot, humid and unstable air coming from the Mediterranean, which can cause violent storms. They usually occur in the autumn which is when the sea is at its warmest, meaning there is maximum evaporation. The equivalent of several months’ worth of rain can fall in just a few days or even hours. These episodes of intense rainfall can result in dangerous flash floods, which can cause extensive damage and casualties, and have a significant environmental and economic impact.

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How can I find out about an upcoming risk of intense rainfall and/or flooding?


Météo-France issues weather warnings for all citizens and public authorities in the event of hazardous weather events, for the current day and the following day. These weather warnings are additional to the usual weather reports.


As for flood surveillance and forecasting, this is carried out by the Vigicrues network of the Ministry of the Ecological Transition and Territorial Cohesion.

Laurent Mignaux / Terra

Behaviour to adopt in the event of intense rainfall or flash flooding

J'évite de me déplacer

Stay indoors

Postpone any planned trips on foot or by car.

Eviter de se déplacer

Avoid travelling

Leave your children in the safety of their school.

Je me réfugie à l'étage

Take refuge upstairs

Stay or go inside a building and go upstairs.

Couper les réseaux

Cut off supply networks

If possible, without putting yourself in danger, cut off the gas and electricity supply as well as the heating.

Image d'illustration

Avoid driving

Do not use your car, as it can be swept away by the current even in just a few centimetres of water.

Ne pas descendre

Do not go underground

Do not enter a basement or underground car park.

Je m'éloigne des cours d'eau

Stay away from waterways

Keep away from waterways, riverbanks and bridges. To avoid lightning, do not take shelter under a tree.

Stay informed

Keep up-to-date with the situation and observe any instructions issued by the emergency services and/or the local council.

Etre solidaire

Look out for others

Look out for vulnerable and isolated people, and communicate via SMS to leave telephone lines available for the emergency services.

How to inform on the behaviour to adopt?


Risk Toolbox


Teachers, educators, parents...: A Risk Toolbox provided by the Ministry of the Ecological Transition and Territorial Cohesion is at your disposal. It takes a fun approach to raising awareness about the natural risks most likely to affect mainland France, which are heavy rain, flooding and wildfire. 

Prepare a 72-hour emergency kit


What is a 72-hour emergency kit?

Power cuts, no access to gas and running water, blocked roads: when we experience a major disaster, the first 72 hours are often the most critical. Be prepared! Your 72-hour emergency kit will allow you, if necessary, to stay at home until the emergency services arrive. This kit could also be useful in the event of a sudden departure.

Your 72-hour emergency kit should be kept in a place where it can be accessed easily and as quickly as possible, and well away from any rising water. For example, it shouldn’t be stored in a cellar or basement.


What should be included in a 72-hour emergency kit?

•    A sufficient volume of drinking water (6 litres per person, in sealed containers)
•    Non-perishable foods that do not require cooking
•    Battery or dynamo torch
•    Penknife or can-opener
•    Candles and matches or lighter
•    Battery radio and spare batteries
•    First-aid kit
•    Spare keys
•    Photocopies of identity documents
•    Medicines
•    Cash
•    Warm clothing...

Do you live in an overseas territory?

View video for the 2023 campaign

Our partners

They have engaged with the rainfall and flooding prevention campaign : Météo-France, Département de France (ADF), Intercommunalité de France, Association Nationale des Élus des Bassins (ANEB), Association Nationale des Élus du Littoral (ANEL), Assurance prévention, Association des maires de France et des présidents d’intercommunalité (AMF), La Croix-rouge, Centre Européen de Prévention du Risque d'Inondation (CEPRI), l'Institut national de l'information géographique et forestière (IGN), Gîtes de France, Groupe Altice Media, Radio VINCI Autoroutes, La Poste, Association Prévention MAIF, Fédération nationale de l’hôtellerie de plein air, Fédération nationale des sapeurs pompiers de France.