We are all familiar with how our country is exposed to floods during heavy weather. One of the scariest scenarios for drivers and passengers is being trapped inside a car when flood suddenly comes pouring down the streets. If you have no knowledge of how to handle this situation, your dilemma 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 actions, some of which are completely wrong, here are 8 things you should be doing in case of a floor scenario while you are inside a car. Just a bit of advice before we proceed on what to do in a flood: never underestimate shallow waters. Six inches of water can already result to a steering failure, making it difficult for you to control your vehicle. Meanwhile, one foot of water can surprisingly make cars gradually float away. Surprised?
No, it does not mean going to the roof of your car and wave your hands up in the air like you see in the movies. Veer away from 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 pretty much in luck. 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
You have to be 100% free from any constraint inside your car, referring to your seat belt. Do not believe the saying that the seat belt would keep you safe when the vehicle starts floating away. After all, once the car floats, you are already in a huge mess. 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 911 for emergency hotline
- THERE IS A PLAN B
Now, thinking about the worst case scenario. There is a possibility that you cannot open the windows anymore, especially if they are electronic ones. You need to resort to car doors. Forget about the passenger compartment getting wet. That is the least of your worries in emergency situations. If you are too weak to open the car door, break a window. Make sure to bring a glass breaker with you at all times.
- LEAVE YOUR POSSESSIONS BEHIND
Forget about your belongings inside the car. You cannot swim properly if you are busy carrying your bag and thinking of saving those gadgets you have with you. If you can still walk on water, prioritize your phone so you can call for help anytime.
- DO NOT SAVE YOUR CAR
Just because you can still stand on water does not mean you can push your car towards a safe place. The main reason why you are advised to get out of your car immediately is to find a high ground. You are more important than your car. Flood can still rise to an extreme level so better avoid that pronto.
- LET THE AUTHORITIES TOW YOUR CAR
When the flood finally subsides, do not go back to your vehicle. You might use a lot of time starting or pushing your car until the water level rises again. Besides, emergency personnel always use proper means of taking cars to a safer place.
The best practice is always to take notice of the weather forecast. Listen to news and updates. The first solution is to keep calm. When you are calm, your mind easily remembers what to do in a flood when you are inside a vehicle. Your main goal is to get out of the car and go to a higher place if there are no authorities around. Never wait for the water level to rise up. And just in case, maybe it’s time for you to learn how to swim? Yeah?