Tuesday, March 1, 2011

This May Save Your Life-Important

The weather at this time of year in many areas of the country can cause flooding as heavy rains cause creeks and rivers to spill over the banks. Driving conditions can quickly become hazardous when you drive onto a flooded road, or a flash flood picks up your car and the strong current carries it away.  The way that todays car are made, the bottom of the car is quite flat and low to the ground, water quickly builds up underneath, causing your car to be picked up quickly and swept away as it fills with water. I just saw these tips about surviving an incident of this type, and thought I would repeat them here. Following these tips greatly improves your chances of surviving and being rescued. The life that is saved could be your own.

1. Avoid flooded roads if you can. Many times, a driver will crest the top of a hill, only to realize too late that the road below is flooded.  If you can avoid it, do not drive onto a flooded road.

2. If you are on a flooded road, the car has stalled and water is rising, open the door and get out, head for high ground. Call for help if you are able.

3. If you can't get out, and you still have power, take off your seatbelt and roll down your windows before the car stalls. (assuming you have power windows, if you have manual windows quickly roll one down. This is scary for people because you may let water into the car, but you have to be able to get out!)

4. If you can't get out, the car is stalled and you have no power you will need to break a window. It's suggested that you carry a small ball peen type of hammer in your vehicle for just such a situation.  Otherwise you will need a heavy, pointed object. You need to break a side widow,  do not try to break the windshield, it's laminated for safety and it will not shatter and fall out so that you can get out. Take your hammer and hit a side window in the bottom corner closest to the front of the car. It might take a couple of tries, but it will shatter and all the glass will fall out.

5.  Climb on top of the car and wait for rescue.

6.  If the car is sinking and you have to start swimming here is what you do. Enter the water feet first. Swim in the direction of the current towards the roadside. Look, reach and feel for something to grab onto, a branch, tree, large rock, etc... If you are able, climb onto the overhanging branch or tree and wait for rescue. According to the report, remaining as calm as you can and following these tips greatly improves your chances for survival. 

This is something I hope none of us ever needs, but if it happens we should all be prepared and know what to do.