Flood-related injuries and fatalities can be greatly reduced by increasing public awareness of the dangers flooding pose to our community. When a flood occurs these tips can help protect you and your family.
NEVER attempt to drive on a flooded roadway. The average automobile will float in 2 feet of water. The fact is you have no way of knowing how deep a flood covers the roadway or if the roadway is even still there!! (flash floods can easily wash roads, guard rails, and bridges away)
Even if the vehicle in front of you successfully crossed a water-covered road, it is best to TURN AROUND and find an alternate route or wait. Remember you are not only risking your life but all the lives of the rescue personnel that respond to your aid.
Four wheel drive vehicles are NOT immune to flood waters. Tragically, they often give the operators a false sense of invincibility.
Roughly 60% of flood related deaths each year are the result of people driving vehicles through flooded roadways. Turn around and don’t drown!
If your car stalls, abandon it immediately and climb to higher ground. Many deaths have resulted from attempts to move stalled vehicles.
Never attempt to walk or swim through flood water.
6 inches of rapidly moving flood water can knock an adult off their feet.
Floods by their very nature are hazardous material incidents. Do not bathe, swim, walk or allow children to play in flood water (moving or not). Flood waters often carry dead animals, sewage, pesticides, herbicides, automotive fluids and other toxic materials. Anything coming in contact with flood water should be cleaned and disinfected thoroughly. If an item can not be cleaned thoroughly it should be thrown away.
Pay close attention to water levels during heavy rain events. Water rises rapidly during flash floods and can take you by surprise. Be prepared to move quickly to higher ground.
Never let children play near creeks or storm drains. Aside from the biological health risks from coming in contact with flood water, storm drains are designed to move water quickly through an urban environment. This very design also makes escape from drainage infrastructure incredibly difficult should a person be swept away.
Never set up camp on the banks of a river or creek. Flash floods effect the entire length of a water way and its tributaries. It is best to allow some distance and elevation between your campsite and the river or creek. This will allow you some time to escape should a flash flood occur.
Be especially alert at night. Be especially cautious at night when it is harder to recognize flood dangers.