Department of Emergency Services
Flood Safety Tips
Perhaps the biggest cause of flood-related deaths and injuries
is lack of public understanding of the severity and danger
involved with floods and flash floods. The following tips can
help protect you during flood events.
What to do if someone falls in or is trapped in flood
- Many people are killed by driving or walking on roads
and bridges that are covered by water. Even though the
water might look only inches deep, it could be much
deeper and with have strong currents. A
mere six inches of fast-moving flood water can knock
over an adult. It takes only two
feet of rushing water to carry away most vehicles.
This includes pickups and SUVs. (Source:
- Flooded creeks and streams are unpredictable. Even
though the surface water may be smooth the water is
moving very fast.
- High water in streets and intersections will quickly
stall motor vehicles. Most trucks, four-wheel drives,
and sport utility vehicles also are susceptible to being
swept away by high water. Such vehicles often give
motorists a false sense of security, believing the
vehicles are safe under any conditions.
- If you are approaching a flooded roadway, turn around
and take an alternate route, even though vehicles in
front of you may have passed through the high water.
- If your car stalls, abandon it immediately and climb to
higher ground. Many deaths have resulted from attempts
to move stalled vehicles.
- Never let children play near creeks or storm drains
when the water is rising or high. Swimming skills have
nothing to do with surviving a flooded creek or stream.
- Debris or garbage in the water may include tires,
shopping carts, furniture etc. These items can easily
injure or trap a person under water.
- Flooded streams and rivers are not safe for recreational
boating. Many canoeists and kayakers have been rescued
from dangerous rapids in flood-swollen streams and
Federalsburg Marina - June 25,
- Do not go after the victim!
- If possible, throw them victim something to use as a
flotation device (spare tire, large ball or foam ice
- Call 911 with correct location information on this
water rescue situation.
- Never set up a tent or camper on the bank of a river
or stream. It is best to allow some distance between
the campsite and water so if a flash flood does occur,
you will have more time to move to higher ground.
- If you live in a low-lying area or near a creek, pay
close attention to water levels during heavy rain
events. Water levels rise rapidly during flash floods,
often surprising victims. Heavy rainfall upstream can
cause a river or stream to rise quickly, even if it is
not raining near you. Be prepared to move quickly to
higher round if water levels begin rising. Quickly
responding to an evacuation order can save your life.
- If advised to evacuate, do so immediately. Follow
recommended evacuation routes. Shortcuts may be
Railroad Avenue, Federalsburg June 25, 2006 Flood
Long Swamp Road, Federalsburg June 25, 2006 Flood
Greensboro Carnival Ground, April 15-16, 2007 Flooding
Greensboro Bridge, April 15-16, 2007 Flooding