Flooding: How to Protect Yourself from a Top Weather-Related Killer

Many areas around the country are dealing with flooding this time of year and it is one of the most dangerous types of weather. 

According to the National Weather Service, over the past 30 years, flooding has killed an average on 87 people annually. This ranks second, behind heat, for weather-related killers.

Most deaths occur from flash flooding, or floods that occur within a few minutes or hours after excessive rainfall.

There are two main ingredients that contribute to flash flooding. These are intensity and duration. Intensity is how hard the rain falls, and duration is how long the rain lasts. Other factors do play a role such as topography, soil conditions, and ground cover.

The majority of flash floods occur from slow moving thunderstorms, or thunderstorms that impact the same areas over and over in a short amount of time. This can often occur from hurricane and tropical systems.

Other types of flooding include river and coastal flooding, urban flooding, and flooding that occurs from obstructions such as ice jams. These types of flooding pose a serious danger, but typically take longer to unfold and that allows for those impacted to prepare accordingly.

Bottom line; know your area’s risk to different types of flooding. Stay alert to any flood watches or warnings that are issued by the Weather Service. Then, if water rises rapidly near your location, take action and get to higher ground. Finally, never cross flooded roadways. Nearly half of all flash flooding fatalities occur in automobiles. As little as 12 inches of fast moving water can push most vehicles off the road. So, TURN AROUND DON’T DROWN, find another way home!