Preparing for and Handling Floods

During a flood, that last thing you want is to have your car stuck in the middle of a flooded area. Worse still if you’re in or near the car and unable to get to safety. While floods can be hard to predict, you can always take certain precautions and have systems in place to handle them.

Preparing for a Flood

In order to prepare for a flood, you need to know the safest route to take if you have to leave your home. Pick a destination that will be safe, and then find a route that travels along high ground. You want to stay away from the water as much as possible. You should also keep some supplies in your car. Stock a kit with flashlights, medication, some basic tools, and a bottle of water. Add anything else portable that you think will help you if you get into a tight spot.

Handling a Flood

When you’re in your home and flooding is a possibility, the first thing you need to do is listen to the radio or watch the local news station for weather updates. Staying abreast of changes will help you make informed decisions about what to do. If you are advised to evacuate, then do so.

If you do have to evacuate your home, follow the route that you previously mapped out. Stick to high ground, and if you come across a place where the road is completely underwater, don’t drive though it. Most cars can be stopped and stalled by just six inches of water, so unless you have a vehicle that sits much higher than most, try to avoid any water at all. If you have a vehicle that sits higher than other vehicles, keep in mind that it only takes a little over a foot and a half of moving water to sweep away most vehicles. If the road is underwater, your best option is to look for an alternative route.

What to Do If You Get Stuck

The first thing you can try, if your vehicle is still running, is open a door. While this might seem silly, sometimes cars get stuck because the tires are not making enough contact with the ground. If you open a door and let some water into the car you may be able to make enough contact with the road to get your car through the flooded area.

If your car stalls out, don’t try to start it again. Once your car stalls, starting it again can only cause more problems. You will most likely only suck up more water into the engine. This can cost more money in repairs after you are able to get your car free.

If you do get stuck when driving, the first thing you need to do is unfasten your seatbelt. If the water continues to rise, you don’t want your seatbelt holding you in the car. The second thing you should do is to try to open the door. This can be difficult because the water on the outside of the car will be pushing in on the doors. If you can’t open the door, you will have to use a window. If you have anything heavy and hard to break the window, use it. Otherwise your best option is to kick the window out.

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