The National Weather Service (NWS) has forecast severe weather for the Washington DC Metropolitan area with high winds and heavy rainfall this afternoon and into the night which are likely to produce flooding and flash floods in your area. More deaths occur from flooding than any other severe weather-related hazard as the result of people underestimating the power of water, especially rushing water. Of all flood fatalities, more than 50% are vehicle-related as a result of people trapped in vehicles swept downstream. This occurs when victims attempt to drive through the flooded area.
To protect you and your family should flooding occur, follow these flood safety tips:
- Monitor the NOAA Weather Radio to receive warnings from the National Weather Service, or monitor your favorite news source.
- Be aware of flooding or flash flooding that may occur in your area.
- Leave areas subject to flooding and seek higher ground.
- Avoid underpasses, underground parking garages and basements during or after heavy rains.
- Whether driving or walking, if you encounter a flooded road -- Turn Around, Don’t Drown!
- DO NOT attempt to cross flowing streams.
- NEVER drive through flooded roadways – flood water may have damaged or washed away the road and six inches of water can stall a vehicle.
- If your vehicle stalls, get out and move to higher ground.
- If you come to water that’s above your ankles, stop and turn around. You can be swept off your feet by as little as six inches of rushing water.
- Develop a family evacuation plan. Make sure everyone knows what to do in case of flooding.
- Keep all family cars fueled. Stock bottled water, non-perishable food, and a first aid kit.
In addition, high winds with gusts up to 26 mph are expected. Be sure to check your yard and outside areas around your home and secure furniture. Store items such as trash cans that might be blown around by heavy winds.