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Monday, May 31, 2010

Flood Survival Tips

Barrier "Turn Around Don't Drown", c...Image via Wikipedia
Floods and flash floods are a common occurrence in my area and are an almost daily fact of life. During unusually heavy rains or spring snow melts, flash floods will often develop suddenly and unexpectedly catching many people unaware. Flash floods alone cause hundreds of deaths each year due to drowning. Most of these deaths are caused by people driving their cars into high water areas during the flooding and could have been avoided. While most property damage cannot be easily avoided, knowing a few basic facts about floods and the effects of moving water can drastically increase your chances of survival.

Flood Survival Tips

1. Be alert to weather forecasts in your area during periods of excessive rainfall and know the terminology used to describe the hazard levels.

Flood Watch: Flooding is possible in your area.

Flash Flood Watch: Flash flooding is possible in your area.

Flood Warning: A flood is occurring or will happen soon as stream or river levels rise.

Flash Flood Warning: A flash flood is occurring. Move to higher ground immediately.

2. Be aware of your flood risk and have an evacuation route planned in advance.

3. Never cross a road or highway that has been flooded.

4. Turn off the power to avoid possible electrocution hazards.

5. Avoid contact with flood waters as they may be contaminated.

6. Avoid driving your vehicle during flood conditions.

7. Abandon your vehicle immediately if it becomes flooded.

8. Don’t walk through flood waters as it is difficult to judge water currents.

9. If you are caught in flood waters, go over obstacles and keep your feet pointed downstream.

10. If you are stranded above the flood waters, stay there till rescued.

Know that driving your vehicle during flood conditions is extremely hazardous. The saying “Turn around, don’t drown!” if followed may save your life.

Always remember these simple facts:

Six inches of water can cause you to lose control of your vehicle.

Twelve inches of water can cause your vehicle to float.

Two feet of water can sweep your vehicle completely off the road.
Staying above the water line!