Flash flood, Flooding, and Tsunami
A flash flood is an unexpected surge of flowing water. In the U.S., flooding is the number one cause of weather-related deaths. Sudden and heavy rainfall, melting snow, or dam breaches are some causes of flash flooding. When large amounts of water in moving swiftly, it can sweep away cars and trucks, demolish houses, and collapse bridges.
During a flood:
If you live in areas that are prone to floods, you should be prepared ahead of time. The following actions are necessary:
- If at home, turn off electrical power at the circuit breaker. Close windows and doors and get to the highest level, if you have an attic, go up to the attic and bring a ladder.
- In a vehicle do not attempt to drive though water. Turn around and find another route for evacuation. If water rises around your car, get out immediately.
- Do not try to walk or swim across flood waters deeper than one foot. The water is full of fast moving debris.
- If outdoors, always ahead to high ground. If you have to walk though water, test water with a stick as you go.
- If you find shelter on a roof or high branch in a tree, tie yourself to it, using a belt or whatever is at hand.
If floodwater was due to flash flood, the volume will probably recede quickly. You must be mentally tough and physically prepared to ride out the initial surge. Try and get to the nearest roof or tree and ride anything that floats. You want to avoid getting in the floodwaters.
“Tsunami” is the Japanese word for “harbor wave.” It is a giant wave caused by earthquakes or under water volcanic eruptions. These waves can reach heights of two hundred feet.
If you live in or are visiting a coastal area, be alert to earthquake and tsunami information.
- If you are on vacation, while sightseeing get maps of coastal areas and find possible evacuation routes. Know which roads lead to high ground.
- If you see water leaving or draining from a coastal area, don’t watch, run to high ground.
Courtley, C. (2012). SEAL survival guide: A Navy SEAL’s secrets to surviving any disaster. New York: Gallery Books.