The recent devastating floods in South Carolina should be a reminder to every one of the dangers of rising waters and flash flooding. Images of cars full of people being swept away by rushing waters and families sitting on rooftops awaiting rescue may have felt far away from Texas last month, but, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), flash flooding is the number one weather-related killer in Texas. Staying safe is as simple as following a few basic rules.
Most Flood Fatalities Involve Vehicles
Over 50 percent of flood fatalities nationwide involve vehicles, therefore, it is essential to understand what can happen when roads are flooded. Be aware of the following:
- Tires can cause vehicles to float, even in relatively shallow water. It only takes two feet of water to float a 3,200 pound vehicle. Never drive through standing water.
- Water covering roadways may be covering washed-out bridges or sink holes. If you attempt to drive across, you may not be driving on a road.
- Flooded roadways are especially hard to see in the dark. Use extra caution at night.
While generalized flooding can take place over days or even weeks, providing ample warning and time to prepare, flash flooding occurs when heavy rains fall in a short period time. Often, there is no warning and you will be forced to take quick action. Some tips include:
- Stay tuned to local TV and radio stations during heavy rains. Take flash flood advisories seriously.
- If you live in a low-lying area and have experienced rising water in the past, take your family, pets, and valuables to higher land quickly. Don’t wait for the water to come.
- Never attempt to cross swollen creeks or flooded roads. As little as six inches of water can knock an adult off his feet.
- Fast-moving water can look like a lot of fun to children. Never allow them to play near ditches or storm drains during or after rainstorms.
- Keep an emergency supply kit in the trunk of your car at all times. Texas DPS has a complete list of supplies on its website.
Call Us If You Need Help When the Water Is Gone
After a major flood event, you may be suffering from property damage and loss. While some insurance companies do live up to their TV ad promises, many do not. If you are getting the runaround from your insurer, call us. We have helped many families get the settlement they are entitled to and we can help you too.