TULSA - Flooding kills more people in the United States every year than hurricanes, tornadoes, lightning or wind storms.
With heavy rain expected in Green Country and the ground already well-saturated, flash flooding becomes a very real concern.
The American Automobile Association offers the following facts related to flash flooding and advice on how to keep yourself and your family safe:
· According to the National Weather Service, nearly half of all flood-related deaths occur in vehicles.
· First of all…..stay calm
· Remain buckled in your seat. If the water is substantially deep, the car should remain afloat ….30 to 60 seconds….long enough for you to escape.
· In this situation, many people believe if they are wearing a seatbelt they will not be able to unbuckle it and will be trapped in the vehicle. Not true.
· A seatbelt is designed for quick release, and without it there is nothing to hold you in place, nothing to keep your head from slamming into the steering wheel or dashboard. (Hitting water at speed is akin to hitting a wall.) If you were knocked unconscious you would be helpless. You wouldn’t have a chance to save yourself, let alone help anyone else. If you and any passengers are wearing seatbelts, chances of survival are much greater.
· Immediately unlock the doors and open the windows – your car’s power accessories should continue working for at least a minute or so.
· Unbuckle your seat belt (and those of children or other riders who need assistance) and exit through the open windows, swimming to safety in the direction of the current if you’re in deep water.
· If they won’t open, try kicking out a side or rear window, though it won’t be easy.
· You may want to think about carrying a small hammer or car window-breaking tool like a spring punch or hammer in the glove compartment for this purpose.
· If you can’t leave via a window and water is entering the cabin wait until the pressure is equalized on both sides of the door (usually when it’s as deep inside as it is outside) before attempting to open it.