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®.