What to Do In The Event Of a Flash Flood

December 18th, 2015

Floods are among the most frequent and expensive of all natural disasters. They cost economic and human hardship.

If you live in a floodplain where prolonged rainfall over several days or intense rainfall over a short period of time is common like it is in British Columbia, then you need to understand what to do in case of flooding. During winter, melting snow can cause rivers to swell and flood immediate areas.

Regardless of how a flood or flash flood occurs, the first rule of safety is to head for higher ground and to stay away from flood waters. Fast moving water produces tremendous force. Do not attempt to drive, walk or swim through fast moving water.

When a flood or flash flood warning is issued in your area:

1) Listen continuously to the weather service broadcasts in your area. Have a portable or battery powered radio (or television) available. Your local station will provide the best the best advice.

2) Pay attention to signs of flooding. If a flash flood occurs, move immediately to higher ground. Forget about belongings. Save yourself and your family.

3) Follow instruction and advice provided by local authorities. Local authorities are the most informed about affected areas. The authorities will broadcast areas to avoid and places to go for shelter.

4) If advised to evacuate, do so immediately. Move yourself and your family to higher ground as soon as possible.

5) Follow recommended evacuation routes. Often these routes are updated by emergency workers if water has become too deep in certain areas.

6) Listen for distant thunder, it may signal approaching storms or runoff from other storms in the area.

Once a flood WATCH has been issued, anyone in the area under watch should be ready to respond quickly. Floods and flash floods can happen quickly so people need to be ready to act immediately.


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