Flood-related injuries and fatalities can be greatly reduced by increasing public awareness of the dangers involved in floods and flash floods. These tips can help protect you during flood events:
- About 40 percent of flood-related deaths occur in motor vehicles. Never attempt to drive into a flooded roadway. It only takes about two feet of water to float most cars. Motorists who survived driving through a flooded road and were swept away commonly say that they thought the water was only a few inches deep.
- Even if the vehicle in front of you successfully crosses a water-covered road, it is best to find an alternate route or to wait. If you get stuck, you are not only risking your own life, but the lives of rescue personnel.
- In the past 10 years, most of the deaths due to flooding in Ohio have been motorist driving through flooded roads or people refusing evacuation requests. A wise choice can save your life.
- Most flood-related deaths occur when people attempt to walk or drive into a flooded area. Many flood-related deaths also occur at night, when it is difficult to distinguish between a wet roadway and a water-covered roadway; heavy rainfall at night greatly reduces visibility.
- Trucks and four-wheel drive vehicles are also susceptible to being swept away by high water. Such vehicles often give motorists a false sense of security, believing they can drive through high water. This belief results in numerous deaths or emergency rescues of motorist in vehicles either stuck in or swept away by floodwater.
- If you live in low-lying area or near a creek, pay close attention to water levels during heavy rain events. Water rises rapidly during flash floods, often taking victims by surprise. Be prepared to move quickly to higher ground if water levels begin rising rapidly.
- Never let children play near creeks or storm drains. Every year, deaths or injuries occur when people, especially children get swept into a creek or storm drain. In July 2003, a 10-year-old boy drowned near Warren, Ohio when he was sucked into a culvert and became trapped.
- If you are camping, never place your tent or camper on the bank of a river or creek. Allowing some distance between your campsite and the creek is best, so if a flash flood does occur, you will have more time to move to higher ground.
- Remember that just six inches of rapidly moving floodwater can knock a person down. A mere two feet of water can float a large vehicle-even a bus.