Basic Safety Tips

"Turn Around, Don't Drown."

To stay alive, "Turn Around, Don't Drown." Never attempt to cross floodwater, whether on foot, by swimming, or in a car or SUV.

Flooding causes more deaths in the United States than any other thunderstorm-related hazard. Remember: Just six inches of fast-moving floodwater can knock you off your feet. Two feet of water can sweep an SUV off the road.

When driving:

  • Avoid areas that are already flooded, and areas that are subject to flooding. Seek higher ground.  The depth of water is not always obvious. The roadbed may be washed out, leaving a deep pit.
  • Never try to drive through swift water.
  • Never ignore barriers that warn of flooded or dangerous roads! 
  • If floodwaters rise around your car or the car stalls, abandon the car and move to higher ground if you can do so safely.  Many deaths occur when people and cars are swept away by flood waters.
  • Do not park or camp along streams and washes, especially during threatening conditions.
  • Be extra careful at night when it is harder to recognize flood dangers

On foot:

  • Do not walk across a flowing stream if the water is higher than your ankles.  Stop, turn around and go another way.
  • Never try to walk or swim through swift water.Seek higher ground.
  • Keep children away from floodwater! Prevent them from playing near or in drainage outlets and storm water retention basins.
  • Floodwaters may also cause health hazards due to contamination or electricity 

Flood Safety: The Facts

  • Six inches of water reaches the bottom of most passenger cars and can cause a loss of control and possible stalling.
  • A foot of water will float many vehicles.
  • Two feet of rushing water can carry away most vehicles including sport utility vehicles (SUVs) and pick-up trucks. 

For Further Reading: