Flooding: A Guide of How Not to be “That Person”
Meteorologists can say it until they’re blue in the face: “Don’t drive through swollen creeks and streams. You’re putting your life at risk.” But, inevitably, someone always thinks they can make it and ends up having to be rescused. Worse yet, many people are killed trying to cross, playing in or wade through flood waters. The 30-year average for flooding deaths is around 85 people per year in the U.S.
Thankfully, it’s been much lower in 2014. Thus far, 34 people have died due to flooding. And statistically the majority of fatalities happen when people drive through flood waters.
So what can you do to stay safe?
Well, firstly, use some common sense. Six inches of fast-moving water can sweep you off your feet and two feet of swift-moving water can float a small SUV downstream. So, if the water looks too deep or it appears it’s moving too fast…it probably is. Moral of the story: Don’t chance it. The short way home may be the short way to the grave, so just find an alternate route.
Another good rule of thumb: Know if you live in a flood zone. That information is easily accessible through the Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA) website. Simply type in your address and hit search, the results will tell you if you’re in a flood zone.
Lastly, be weather aware. If you know flash flooding is a possibility, you can plan ahead to counteract any potential adverse affects beforehand.
Meteorologist Alan Raymond