Flood Safety Tips to Remain Safe
Major storms have hit the south over the past few days. Tornadoes in Arkansas have left one dead, more than eight injured, and at least one car swept away by flooding water.
Heavy rains with flooding in Tennessee have killed at least five people. CNN reports "This is one of the most severe rain events Nashville has ever experienced," Nashville Mayor Karl Dean said.
Drowning is the number one cause of flood deaths. It takes only six inches of moving water to knock an adult off their feet. A foot of water will float many vehicles. Two feet of rushing water can carry away most vehicles including sport utility vehicles (SUV’s) and pick-ups.
It is important to remember to basic safety
- Listen to the radio or television for information.
- Be aware that flash flooding can occur. If there is any possibility of a flash flood, move immediately to higher ground. Do not wait for instructions to move.
- Do not walk through moving water. Use a pole or stick to make sure that the ground is still there before you go through an area where the water is not flowing and to check the depth of the water.
- Do not drive into flooded areas. If floodwaters rise around your car, abandon the car and move to higher ground if you can do so safely. You and the vehicle can be quickly swept away
- Don't drive around road barriers; the road or bridge may be washed out.
- Stay away from power lines and electrical wires. Electrocution is also a major killer in floods. This can be especially true when the rain is combined with storm damage. Report downed power lines to your utility company or local emergency manager.
- Watch out for animals and snakes which may have been flooded out of their own homes who are seeking shelter in yours.
- Watch where you step, as the flood water may bring debris with it, including broken bottles and nails. Floors and stairs that have been covered with mud can be very slippery.