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Turn around and don’t drown!

By Vanessa Saunders, MBA, MIMC , Broker Owner, Global Property Systems Real Estate.

Seeing the storm warnings on the news brings back memories of losing our home to Hurricane Sandy’s coastal flooding. The hurricane caused enormous damage, but at least in our area, no deaths. Nationwide, flooding causes more deaths annually than do hurricanes, tornadoes and lightning. Flash floods are very dangerous and can strike with little to no warning.

Here are things to do and not to do as Tropical Storm Isaias approaches.

Make a plan.

Make an emergency plan before it hits, especially if you are located in a coastal area or flood plain. Plans should include an escape route via roads on high ground, and pack essential items like batteries, cell phones (fully charged and with extra batteries), and food.

Know when to go.
Evacuation is not always a good idea. Sometimes it’s more dangerous to go through flooded areas than it is to stay where you are. Instead, find a safe, high point, and call emergency services.

Obey the warnings.
There will be specific evacuation orders for your area, so when a flash flood hits, follow the recommendations to stay safe. Those officials making the orders usually know what they are talking about based on a bigger picture of what’s happening than what you may be able to observe. Be sure the suggestions aren’t going to put you in danger and acknowledge the severity of the situation.

Watch the weather reports.
As long as you have power, you will have access to weather reports and updates on the radio,TV, cell phone and Internet. Keep an eye on local weather forecasts is one of the most essential things you can do to determine what the conditions are like out there.

Don’t ignore flash flood watches.

Sure, it’s only a watch, not a warning of an existing flood. Don’t wait until the situation becomes even more dangerous and switches to a Flash Flood Warning. Rising waters in a flash flood can rise quickly.

Don’t walk or drive through flooded areas.
Most of the deaths caused by flash floods happen as a result of drivers misjudging how deep the water is. “Turn around and don’t drown!” Not only is it hazardous to human life but driving through high water is an excellent way to ruin your car.

Don’t underestimate the power of moving water.
Even shallow moving water can pose a risk. For example, only 2-feet of moving water can carry off most vehicles SUV-size or smaller. You can imagine how little it takes to wash away a human. When I was living in a suburb of Minneapolis many years ago, and adult playing in water rushing down a curbside slipped, fell, was sucked down a storm drain and died.

Stay safe! We can’t sell real estate without you!


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