April showers may bring May flowers, but May showers can bring flooding. Though in Indiana we tend to be most aware of the dangers of tornadoes, inland flooding is actually the leading cause of weather-related deaths in the U.S. Each year, almost as many
people die from floods as from hurricanes, tornadoes and lightning combined.
One of the reasons floods are so dangerous is that people don’t understand how powerful water can be. A mere six inches of fast-moving flood water can knock
an adult off his or her feet. It takes only two feet of rushing water to carry away vehicles, including large pickup trucks and SUVs.
Most flood-related deaths and injuries are avoidable. Just follow this simple advice to keep you
and your loved ones safe this spring:
- Turn around if you come to an area covered with water. There is no way to determine the depth of the water or the ground condition beneath it.
- Flash floods can develop in a matter of minutes and occur within six hours following a rainstorm. In addition to washing away your vehicle, these flood waters can move boulders, uproot trees and destroy buildings and bridges.
- If flooding begins in your area, go to higher ground immediately.
- Do not attempt to cross flowing streams on foot, even if the water appears shallow.
- If your vehicle stalls, exit immediately and move to higher ground.
- Remember electrical current can travel through water. Report downed power lines immediately, and if any appliances in your home become wet, turn off the electricity– even unplugged appliances can sometimes shock you.
- Be alert for hazards that flood waters can create including debris, downed power lines, uprooted trees, small animals, sewage and chemicals.
- Standard homeowners policies do not cover flooding. Review your insurance policies with your agent to know what coverages you have.
Flood waters can be very dangerous. In the event of a flood, be smart and stay safe by remaining calm and using good judgment.
Source: Georgia Office of Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner; www.oci.ga.gov