Flooding in certain regions of the country has caused folks to reconsider the possibility of flooding in their area, and many of these people realize they know little about what they should do when caught in a flood.
Do you know what to do if you are trapped in your vehicle during a flood? If you don’t, you’re not alone. This article is designed to offer you the advice you need to navigate a dangerous situation successfully, and keep you and your family safe.
If you are trapped in your car during a flood, you should:
Stay calm. Don’t surrender to fear or nervousness. It won’t help you.
Remove anything that may restrict you. Unlock the car’s doors and have everyone unbuckle their seatbelts. This is also the time when you should remove any jackets or unnecessary clothing you may be wearing. If it can get caught, leave it behind.
Slowly roll down the window. Unless the car is completely submerged, your windows should still work. Roll the windows down slowly, then climb out of the car and move quickly to get to higher ground. Once you are there, call 911.
If your windows will not go down, then you will have to escape your vehicle by opening the door. Unfortunately, your doors will not open until the water pressure is as great inside the car as it is outside. This means you’ll have to allow your car to fill with water until it is almost to your neck. Then, once the water has reached this height, open the doors and swim to safety before calling 911.
If you are trapped in a car during a flood, you should never:
Panic. Doing so will never benefit you.
Waste energy trying to open the door. As we said above, unless the water pressure is equal on both sides, you will not be strong enough to battle the current and open the door.
Look for possessions. Don’t worry about trying to save any items in the car.
Break the car’s windows. If you do, there is a chance this broken glass will be pushed back inside, filling the vehicle and any water already inside with sharp, jagged material.
Once you have escaped your car, leave it behind. Do not stay by the car, climb on the roof or make the mistake of returning to your car because you think the flood waters are receding. Any of these mistakes could leave you stranded on your vehicle and in need of rescue. Instead, head for higher ground as quickly as possible and call 911.