Have you ever given any thought to flash flooding? They can happen at any time, when you least expect it. There might not be any rain in the area when it happens. Flash floods are caused by a lot of rain in a short amount of time. The water can come in seconds. Flash floods are the number one weather related killer in the United States.
Soil conditions, ground cover, ground saturation, topography all will determine how severe a flash flood might become. Flash floods can occur within a few minutes or hours of excessive rainfall. Keep in mind water is a powerful force, it can move cars, trucks, boulders, houses, take out bridges, tear up roads, rip out trees. Think what it could do to you.
If you have tropical storms, thunderstorms or hurricanes in your area, they can dump huge amounts of water in a short amount of time. If you live is this kind of area get yourself and family to higher ground. If you drive upon water going across the road don’t cross it. It only takes 6″ of fast water to move your car. A depth of 2′ can float your car. If you are still thinking about crossing think about this, the road could be washed out under the flood. You wouldn’t be able to see something like that. Dry creek beds, low spots in the road or gullies can flood in seconds
The difference between a flash flood and a regular flood are simple, a flash flood usually will occur within 6 hours of the weather rain event. A regular flood is more long term, they can last a week or more
So what can you do to protect yourself and family before it happens? Know the area you live in, do you know the evacuation routes, does your family? Keep your car full of gas in case you need to leave immediately. Have some nonperishable food and water stored for you and your animals. Have a good first aid kit, get yourself a portable weather radio, make sure all flashlights and lanterns are charged up and ready to go in case power goes out. If you are storing canned food make sure you have a can opener that you can use without electricity.
After the flash flood don’t go down and check it out, there could be emergency operations or rescues taking place, you would be in the rescuers way. Report any downed power lines and stay away from them also. If you are thinking about building a disaster kit for this scenario here is a small list to get you started.
Water and food for every person in your group for at least 3 days, don’t forget your pets or animals. Have an extra set of clothes and socks so you can change into something dry and warm. Sleeping bag or blanket, prescription medicine, a good first aid kit, extra batteries, extra set of keys and some cash in case the power is out.