During a Mudslide or Flash Flood
- During a severe storm, stay alert and awake. Many deaths from landslides occur while people are sleeping.
- Listen to local news stations on a battery-powered radio for warnings of heavy rainfall.
- Listen for unusual sounds that might indicate moving debris, such as trees cracking or boulders knocking together.
- Move away from the path of a landslide or debris flow as quickly as possible. The danger from a mudflow increases near stream channels and with prolonged heavy rains. Mudflows can move faster than you can walk or run. Look upstream before crossing a bridge and do not cross the bridge if a mudflow is approaching. Avoid arroyos and low-lying areas.
- If you are near a stream or channel, be alert for any sudden increase or decrease in water flow and notice whether the water changes from clear to muddy. Such changes may mean there is debris flow activity upstream so be prepared to move quickly.
- Curl into a tight ball and protect your head if escape is not possible.
- It does not have to be raining or even cloudy right where you are in order for there to be a flash flood. Be aware of arroyos, canyons and other areas known to flood suddenly.
- Flash floods are the #1 weather-related killer in the U.S. since they can roll boulders.
Driving in Flood or Mud
The following are important points to remember
when driving in flood conditions:
- Six inches of water will reach the bottom of most passenger cars causing loss of control and possible stalling.
- A foot of water will float many vehicles.
- Two feet of rushing water can carry away most vehicles including SUV’s and pick-ups.
- Do not attempt to drive through a flooded road. The depth of water is not always obvious. The road bed may be washed out under the water, and you could be stranded or trapped.
- Do not drive around a barricade. Barricades are there for your protection. Turn around and go the other way.
- Do not try to take short cuts. They may be blocked. Stick to designated evacuation routes.
- Be especially cautious driving at night when it is harder to recognize flood dangers.
Shelter in Place for Severe Weather
The following are things you can do to protect yourself, your family and your property before severe weather:
- Keep an eye on the sky. Look for darkening skies, flashes of light or increasing wind. Listen for the sound of thunder. If you can hear thunder, you are close enough to be struck by lightning.
- Heed shelter or evacuation requests made by officials or announcements on radio/television.
- Gather family members, bring pets indoors and have your emergency supply kit ready.
- Close outside doors and window blinds, shades or curtains. Stay away from doors, windows and exterior walls. Stay in the shelter location until the danger has passed.
- During lightning, do not use wired telephones, touch electrical appliances or use running water. Cordless or cellular telephones are safe to use.
- Remember the 30/30 Lightning Safety Rule: Go indoors if, after seeing lightning, you cannot count to 30 before hearing thunder. Stay indoors for 30 minutes after being able to count to 30 seconds.
Local authorities may not immediately be able to provide information on what is happening and what you should do. However, you should watch TV, listen to the radio or check the Internet often for official news and instructions as they become available.