Tropical Storm Andrea - Tips for Driving Around Flooded Roadways and Keeping Safe During a Tornado Watch
June 6, 2013 As Tropical Storm Andrea hovers over Florida, here are a few tips to help deal with flooded roadways, and also some ideas on how to handle your vehicle once the waters have receded. The Federal Alliance For Safe Homes has partnered with the National Weather Service to warn motorists about the dangers of flooded roadways. They recommend the following safety tips:
- If you can, simply avoid flooded areas especially those with rapid water flow. Keep things safe and simple: reschedule your plans if youre aware of flooding in the area.
- If flooding occurs when you're on the road, stay on high ground. Experts also advise against driving in deep water, especially when the water could be fast-moving or the depth is not known.
- If your vehicle stalls, DO NOT attempt to restart it, as your engine may be damaged. Leave it immediately and seek higher ground.
- Do not camp or park your vehicle along streams and washes, particularly when threatening conditions exist.
After The Deluge
The floodwaters are going down, but your car may have been exposed to the water. Experts say high water can damage vehicles. Here are some tips to help limit the damage to your car after water exposure:
- DO NOT start a flooded vehicle until it has received a thorough inspection by a qualified mechanic.
- Record the highest level of water exposure on your flooded vehicle.
- Contact your agent or insurance company and advise them that your vehicle has been flooded. The sooner the vehicle can be evaluated and dried out, the less damage the vehicle will sustain. If you dont have the right training and personal protective equipment (PPE), it's safer, in most cases, to leave the cleaning up to professionals. Some floodwaters contain raw or untreated sewage and other contaminants that may pose serious health hazards during cleanup. The Centers for Disease Control offers more information on this topic.
Also, with a Tornado Watch in effect for parts of Florida, State Farm is offering safety tips to help keep you and your family safe. When a tornado does occur, it can strike with little warning, so prepare your family to take cover before severe weather moves into your area.
Look for these signs of danger:
- Dark, greenish skies
- Large hail
- Dark, rotating, low-altitude cloud
- Loud roar, like a train
What Is A Tornado Watch?
A Tornado Watch means that conditions are favorable for tornadoes to develop. In this case, be alert to changes in the weather. Account for all family members, have your emergency kit ready, and keep a battery-powered radio tuned to weather reports. Move cars inside, keeping car and house keys with you. If time permits, move lawn furniture and equipment inside to minimize flying debris.
What Is A Tornado Warning?
A Tornado Warning means that a tornado has actually been sighted. If a Tornado Warning is issued for your area, seek shelter immediately:
- Home: The safest place to be during a tornado is underground, preferably under something sturdy like a workbench. If there is no basement or cellar in your home, go to a small interior room on the lowest level, such as a bathroom, closet, or hallway; the more walls between you and the outside, the better. Keep all windows shut.
- Mobile home: Manufactured homes are not built to weather tornadoes, so seek shelter elsewhere at the first sign of severe weather. For example, go to a prearranged community shelter or make plans to stay with a friend or relative. As a last resort, go outside and lie flat on the ground with your hands over your head and neck; be alert for flash floods, which often accompany severe storms.
- Vehicles: Do not try to outrun a tornado; tornadoes can toss cars and large trucks around like toys. If you see a funnel cloud or hear a tornado warning, get out of your vehicle and seek shelter in the nearest sturdy, enclosed building. If such a shelter is not available, lie down in a low area with your hands covering your head and neck; be alert for flash floods.
- Office buildings & schools: Learn the emergency plans for buildings you and your family frequent. If a specific shelter area does not exist, move into interior hallways or small rooms on the buildings lowest level. Avoid areas with glass windows and doors, as well as wide-span roofs.
- Store or shopping mall: Go to a designated shelter area or to the center of the building on a low level. Stay away from large, open rooms and windows. Do not seek shelter in parked cars.
About State Farm®
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