It’s the middle of summer and a flash flood warning is issued for your area, but you have to get home. What do you do? If you’re like most people, you might start to panic a little bit. But don’t worry, we’re here to help!
In this article, we will discuss how to safely drive during a flash flood warning. By following these tips, you can avoid becoming stranded in your car or worse yet, swept away by rushing water. So read on and be prepared for anything!
- Plan Ahead for Flooding
When flash floods occur, there’s often little warning —hence the name “flash flood.” Having a plan in place for you and your family to follow can help mitigate some of the fear and confusion that can come with these events.
First, know your evacuation route. If you live in an area prone to flooding, chances are you’ve been told where to go in the event of an evacuation order.
If not, make sure to ask your local authorities or do some research on your own. Once you know where you’re going, map out the best route to get there and make sure everyone in your family is familiar with it.
- Pay Attention to Road Conditions
As you’re driving during a flood warning, be sure to pay attention to the road conditions around you. Look ahead for any water on the roadway and avoid driving through it if possible. It may be difficult to tell how deep the water is, and you don’t want to risk getting stranded or worse.
If you can’t avoid driving through an inch or so of water (but no more), go slowly and steady. Be careful not to make any sudden movements that could cause you to lose control of your vehicle.
- Keep an Eye On the Weather
While you’re driving, it’s also important to keep an eye on the weather conditions. If possible, listen to a local radio station for updates on the flood warning and be prepared to change your route if necessary.
Additionally, keep an eye out for any signs of flooding in the area around you — such as rising water levels or debris in the roadway. Local weather isn’t always an indicator of flash floods, however. A heavy storm miles away can result in flash flooding near you under the right conditions, so make sure you stay vigilant and aware of all possibilities.
- Follow Roadblocks and Evacuation Orders
One of the most important things to do if you find yourself in a flash flood situation is to follow any roadblocks or evacuation orders that have been put in place.
These are there for a reason and ignoring them can put you and others in serious danger. If the roads are flooded, turn around and find another route. It’s not worth risking your life to try and drive through floodwaters.
- Never Drive Through Flood Water
This might seem like common sense, but you would be surprised how many people try to drive through floodwaters every year.
It doesn’t matter how big or small your car is, if there is more than an inch of water flowing over the road, do not attempt to drive through it. It only takes about a foot of water to lift most vehicles, and the water can quickly rise and sweep your car away in an instant.
- Never Stay in Your Car If Stuck
If you get caught in flood waters while in your vehicle, it might seem counterintuitive, but you need to exit the vehicle as soon as possible and get to higher ground.
If the waters are too high for you to exit through the door, then open your window and escape. If your windows don’t work, then you’ll have to wait until the water is high enough inside your vehicle so that you can push the door open.
From there, you look around for taller, heavier objects you can hold onto such as a tree and swim to them while going along with the current.
- Remain Calm
If you find yourself in a flash flood, the most important thing to remember is to stay calm and be patient. Panicking will only make the situation worse and put you in more danger. Take a deep breath and think about your next move carefully, but try your best not to freeze in indecisiveness.
If you’d like to learn more about what you can do following an accident, check out this article on JT Legal Group.
Flash floods can be dangerous, but if you take the proper precautions and remain calm, you’ll be able to safely get through them. Just remember to never drive through floodwaters, follow any road closures or evacuation orders, and get to higher ground as soon as possible if your vehicle becomes stuck in water.