Flooding happens across the country, with some areas more prone than others.
No matter where you live in the U.S., the best thing you can do is to be ready.
The National Weather Service (NWS) issues Flood Advisories when an upcoming weather event will create problems. Typically, those problems will be more of an annoyance than a serious issue.
When the situation looks like it will be worse, the NWS issues Flood Watches. These usually happen days ahead of a weather event that could turn nasty. When it's upgraded to a warning, you need to take action. This alert means that flooding is happening and could threaten life and property.
It surprises many people to hear how little water causes flooding and creates danger. Just six inches of moving water can knock over an adult. It takes only one foot of water to push cars, and about two feet of water will take out SUVs and trucks.
This means as much as you may want to help someone out of flood waters or drive through that ‘puddle’ to get home faster, you should not do so!
The Centers for Disease Control reports that half of all flood-related deaths occur when people try to drive through floodwater. Walking in floodwater is the second-highest contributor to death.
The last thing you want to do when the NWS issues a warning is panic. To keep calm, create a communication plan with your family and friends. A group text message is a great way to keep everybody on the same page.
Another great resource is Facebook. During serious emergencies, Facebook allows you to mark yourself safe so that everyone knows they don’t need to worry about your health and wellness.
Another thing to do is have an emergency kit ready. This does not have to be something that takes days to put together.
Because I know how quickly the weather can change, I always keep a blanket, a bottle of water, a granola bar, a snow brush and a cellphone charger in my car. These few simple items can make a bad day go a little more smoothly.
Remember, it takes just a few minutes to throw a bag together to keep in your car. That bag could be the difference between an actual emergency or just an inconvenient day.
Always have a way to get alerts sent to you. In this day and age, most people have a cellphone. This is the most effective way to get alerts delivered. The Spectrum News app is a great way to get any advisory, watch, or warning sent directly to your pocket.
As long as you heed the warnings given to you, you have a great chance of staying safe and dry.