Family

Seven Ways to Keep Kids Safe in Case of Flash Floods

Preparation is always the smartest move, but take these other critical precautions as well

Rain gets a bad rap sometimes. It’s actually one of the most important things on earth — it gives us water to drink, helps farmers grow crops, and keeps everything green. Too little rain can cause a drought, while too much rain can cause big problems.

Did you know flooding causes more damage in the United States than any other severe weather-related event?

It’s true — and it’s why it is important to prepare your family and your children for flooding and flash flooding.

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1.) Prepare. Being prepared for such incidents beforehand is always the best safety precaution. Keeping a first-aid closet at home is never a bad idea. Storing extra food on the highest level of your home helps in case of emergency flooding.

Also, the forecast is not always completely accurate — so it’s better to prepare and to be safe than sorry.

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2.) Know when it will flood. If the ground is dry and it is raining heavily, the soil will not be able to soak up the rainwater, resulting in flowing streams and oftentimes serious flooding. Also, check the forecast or local weather warnings often.

3.) Know if you are in danger. The NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards (NWR) is one of the best ways to receive warnings from the National Weather Service. NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards is a nationwide network of radio stations broadcasting continuous weather and river information direct from nearby NWS offices.

Also, the NWS website provides forecasts and warnings, and identifies where flooding is occurring.

4.) Know what the advisories mean. Local news shows, radio shows, and the internet help spread the word. It is important to know the meanings of the advisories: flood watch, flash-flood watch, flood warning and flash-flood warning. Watches mean flooding is possible, while warnings mean flooding or flooding conditions are occurring in the warning area.

5.) Stay away from flooding. Remaining indoors on high ground is the safest place to be during a flash flood.

Flowing streams can easily sweep away objects or people. Being inside and above ground level greatly mitigates this hazard.

Related: Prevent Heatstroke: Eight Smart Tips for Families

6.) Don’t drive in flash floods. Driving in floods can be extremely dangerous and do serious damage to your vehicle and to the persons inside. Many flash floods can easily take your vehicle off the road and send it downstream or force you to completely lose control of your vehicle.

If you happen to be on the road during a flash flood, steer clear of large puddles or water flowing in a fixed direction.

7.) Know that flash floods are more hazardous than you think. Surprisingly, throughout history flash floods have done more serious damage than hurricanes, tornadoes, or lightning.

People underestimate the intensity of a bad flood, or any flood for that matter — which is why preparation and knowledge about flash flooding are key to staying safe in inclement weather.

Fox News Channel’s lead meteorologist, Janice Dean, teaches the importance of extreme weather preparation in the newest book in her popular Freddy the Frogcaster series, “Freddy the Frogcaster and the Flash Flood,” which goes on sale Monday, August 21.

(photo credit, article image: lordphantom74, Flickr)

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