One of the scariest scenarios drivers and passengers can experience is being trapped inside a car when flood suddenly covers the streets. If you have no knowledge of how to handle this situation, your predicament would be so much worse. Should you stay inside until help arrives? Or, is it necessary for you to go out immediately and find help? Since there are a lot of possible solutions, some of which are completely wrong, we are here to guide you on what to do in a flood when you are inside a car.
What to do in a flood when you’re in a car
Just a bit of advice before we proceed on what to do in a flood: never underestimate shallow waters. Based on a certain natural hazard guideline released by relevant government agencies, six inches of water can already contribute to a steering failure, making it hard for you to control your car. Meanwhile, one foot of water can surprisingly make cars gradually float away. Lastly, two feet of water is enough to quickly sweep away vehicles – even big ones such as SUVs and pickup trucks.
See, as soon as the car is surrounded by water, you have all the right to be concerned but never panic. Do not wait for the flood to rise to a deadly level. You really have to remember the following guidelines on what to do in a flood if it is still rising around your car:
No, we do not mean going to the roof of your car and wave your hands up in the air. You can stop ridiculous ideas such as this one by staying calm. The first thing you have to do is to make your car visible by turning on the hazard lights and the headlights. If you can already spot emergency personnel, you are so lucky. These modern heroes will surely notice the lights from your car and help you immediately. Wait for them to reach you.
DO NOT SECURE YOURSELF INSIDE.
Ironically, you have to be 100% free from any constraint inside the car. We are specifically referring to your seat belt. Do not believe the notion that the seat belt would keep you safe when the vehicle starts floating away. After all, once the car floats, you are already in big trouble. As soon as you see water surrounding your car, stop the vehicle and release yourself from the seat belt immediately. Also, unlock all doors. If there are authorities nearby, they can easily open your car door and save you.
REMOVE LAYERS OF CLOTHING
If you are simply wearing two pieces of clothes, top and bottom, disregard this tip. However, if you are wearing a jacket and other types of layers, immediately remove them all. This initiative keeps you from sinking if you have to swim.
OPEN A WINDOW
Now, let’s start thinking about worst-case scenarios. What if you are stranded in the middle of the flood without safety personnel around you? Before you even get to this point, it is always a good idea to stay indoors whenever it rains.
However, when push comes to shove, lower one window but not in an abrupt way. Just do it slowly. As long as the car is not yet underwater, electric windows usually work even in a flood. Once you successfully lower the window, climb out straight away. Find a high ground and contact emergency agencies for help.