The recent historic flooding in Louisiana has brought national attention
to the devastating effects of flooding, but in reality it is an all-too-common
natural disaster. It can happen anywhere in the U.S. at any time of year,
and a staggering three-quarters of Presidential natural disaster declarations
are related to flooding.
Despite the universal nature and relative frequency of flooding, many people
just aren't aware of the danger that even a small amount of flood
water can pose. You might be surprised at these statistics:
6 inches - The depth of fast-moving water that can knock over an adult.
1 foot - The depth of water that will wash away a small car.
2 feet - The depth of water that can carry away almost any vehicle.
These seem like small amounts of water, so it's easy to see how people
underestimate the danger. The CDC reports that over half of all flood-related
drownings occur when a vehicle is driven into floodwater. The next highest
percentage of flood-related fatalities comes from people walking through
or too close to flood water. Unlike the accidents we deal with in our
line of work, most of these accidents are preventable. In an effort to
save lives, the National Weather Service and NOAA have developed a program called
Turn Around Don't Drown® to raise awareness of the dangers. The phrase means exactly what it says:
if you ever encounter flood water, whether on foot or in your car, we
hope you will remember what to do...Turn Around Don't Drown®.