When you start to hear stories of hurricane, tornado and severe thunderstorm warnings, you may not immediately think of flash flooding. Alerts with “severe weather on the way” typically include heavy rain, frequent lightning, damaging winds and localized flash flooding. When you hear the terms Flood Watch, it means “Be Aware” and Flood Warning, which is a step up from “watch” means “Take Action.”
With regards to a flood watch or warning alert, FEMA uses their registered phrase “Turn Around, Don’t Drown”…and for good reason. Here are a few basic safety tips concerning floods:
- If there is a chance of flash flooding, move immediately to higher ground. Flash floods are the number one cause of weather-related deaths in the US.
- Avoid walking through flood waters as just six inches of moving water can knock you down.
- Avoid parking along streams, rivers and creeks during heavy rainfall as these areas can flood quickly and with little warning.
- Remember to turn on your headlights, have your tires properly inflated and leave room between you and the cars ahead of you.
- Motorists should use caution on roads. Standing water should be avoided and you should take notice of large vehicles, such as tractor-trailers, as severe weather makes it more difficult for drivers to stay in their lanes.
Businesses should always have a plan in place to be up and running during unexpected incidents such as flash flooding. Download this Flood Preparedness Checklist so you know what to do before, during and after the storm. For more information about what causes flash flooding, View CNN Extreme
Weather “What is a Flash Flood” Video.