Flash floods are one of the most destructive forms of thunderstorms, capable of destroying both life and property. Due to thunderstorms, there is rapid rise in water levels in streams, rivers; creeks leading to overflow that can spiral across to lands. Flash flooding also occurs when the dam breaks and there is a severe onrush of water. A mudslide can also be a case of flash flooding.
Those living in low-lying areas, close to rivers, seas and streams are prone to thunderstorm floods. Cars and trucks are at severe risk when they are in as little as 2 feet of water. In the nights, people are not able to take note of flash flooding, which is why there are many incidents of people dying due to driving into high waters at that time.
Your city or town’s meteorological department issues a warning about the impeding thunderstorm or flooding; so you have to take note of this and act accordingly. Some of the things that you should do are:
1. Stay away from water bodies
2. Do not drive into flood waters
3. Move to high ground and avoid flash flood prone areas.
4. Adhere to signals issued by the weather report agency and stick to their direction about choosing alternative routes.
5. Do not venture out at nights, because it is difficult to detect flash flooding during those times.
Please understand that flash flooding can occur without warning as well. So you have to be on the lookout for signs like overbearing clouds, thunderstorms etc and act accordingly. If you are living in a flood prone zone, make a plan with your family members and friends about how to get in touch with each other. Also stay together when such things are at risk of happening; do not let a family member venture out whenever there is a thunderstorm. Find evacuation centers for flood victims in your area. Make a plant to meet family members at this common site, if flooding takes place.
Leave the building or home as soon as the weather reporting agency says that your locality is at risk or if you see flood waters risking quickly. Move to the higher ground if there is no evacuation center in your place. If you are driving, take your car to the higher ground, do not drive through water because it can lose traction and stay put in just few inches of standing water. One more foot of water and your stalled vehicle can be swept downstream. So, if your vehicle is stalled in rising water, abandon it and move to the higher ground.
Do not be in contact of standing water, even if the flood waters are receding. There is risk of infection due to dirty water infested by bacteria, road grime and car engine dirt. Do not play in flood waters or wade along specially if there is an option to turn the other way and move to higher ground.
Move your property to higher ground if possible; for instance the furniture and other valuables. You can keep your valuables and jewelry in the safe deposit box in the bank if you live in a flood prone area. Keep furniture and electrical items in cinder blocks or bricks to keep them protected from flood storms and move them to higher ground. Lastly, get flood insurance for your home and possessions. If you do not own a home, you should go for the renter’s insurance because the landlord is only responsible for his home and not for your personal items that are damaged or lost in the flood.