Each year, more deaths occur worldwide because of flooding than any other hazard related to thunderstorms. The most common flood deaths occur when a vehicle is driven into hazardous floodwater. There are three tips that, if being followed, may protect your family, friends and yourself.
Don’t try to walk through a flooded area
If you are caught outside during a flood, don’t try to wade through the rushing waters. The current may be swifter than you realize, and you can easily be knocked down and swept away in only a few inches of water. Instead, move toward higher ground as quickly and carefully as you can.
Avoid flooded areas when you are in a vehicle
A portion of the road that has been flooded out is a danger area and should be avoided. Even if you see other drivers attempting to drive through, think safety first and turn around and drive in the other direction. There is no way to determine how deep a flooded area is or to anticipate whether your vehicle will be able to get through it safely. Even a relatively shallow water level (24 inches or less) can cause a vehicle to be swept away in the flood waters.
Evacuate a flooded area immediately if instructed to do so
In a situation where you are given instructions to leave a specific area by authorities, follow the instructions carefully. You may be told to take a certain route to safety. Choosing to follow a different one may mean that you end up on a road that is blocked or otherwise unsafe. Keep your radio on so that you will know if the instructions have been updated or certain roads have been closed down entirely. Be sure to buckle up and drive carefully when leaving the flooded area.