PUBLIC SAFETY AND HEALTH
Flood Safety Tips 2009
Flooding is the most common and widespread of all natural disasters. It can happen anywhere and at anytime, with devastating results to life and property. Learn about safety tips that can help to protect you, your family and your property during this year's monsoon season.
Have a plan
- Evacuate to an area of higher ground immediately if advised to do so.
- Stay away from flooded areas, even if the water seems to be receding.
- Do not walk, swim or drive through moving water.
- Watch for snakes in flooded areas.
- Use flashlights instead of candles.
- Be aware of potential flash flooding.
Perhaps the biggest cause of flood-related deaths and injuries is the lack of respect for the severity and danger associated with floods and flash floods.
Fire officials offer the following tips that can help protect El Paso residents during these heavy rains:
- Many people are killed while trying to drive or walk on roads and bridges covered by water. Though the water may look only inches deep, the pool could be far deeper and have very strong currents. It only takes two feet of water to carry away many cars and only six inches of swiftly moving (6 mph) water can sweep a person off their feet.
- Trucks, two wheel- as well as four-wheel-drive and sports utility vehicles are also susceptible to the dangers of pooled water. Such vehicles often give motorists a false sense of security, believing the vehicles are safe under all hazardous conditions. This is simply not true. For instance, large tires add to the vehicle’s buoyancy and can cause it to lose traction sooner. Simply put, do not allow overconfidence in your vehicle to cost you your life.
- Consequently, if you are approaching a flooded roadway, turn around and take an alternate route. Though vehicles in front of you may have passed through the high water, you may not be as lucky.
- If your car stalls, abandon it immediately and climb to higher ground. Many deaths have resulted from attempts to move stalled vehicles.
- Never let children play near storm drains when the water is rising or is high. Every year, deaths or injuries occur as a result of people being swept away. Sadly, the most frequent victims are children.
- If you live in a low-lying area, pay close attention to water levels during heavy rain events. Water levels rise rapidly during flash floods often surprising victims. Be prepared to move quickly to higher ground if water levels begin rising.
- A reminder that Sandbags are no longer available at the fire stations. The new locations are:
Central – Storm Water Operations Center, 410 S. Cotton
Westside - 120 Kappa (near Keystone Heritage Park)
Northeast - Near Nations Tobin Park, 8831 Railroad
Eastside - Near Album Park, at Wedgewood & Lockerbie
Mission Valley - Near Blackie Chesher Park, 9144 Escobar