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Weather Ready-Nation action of the Month: When Flooded, Turn Around, Don’t Drown!


CEES is now a proud Ambassador of NOAA’s Weather Ready-Nation program!  The program is "focused towards building community resiliency in the face of increasing vulnerability to extreme weather and water events" (WRN).  NOAA is partnering with the public and private sector to equip individuals and communities with information that can prepare them in the face of weather related disasters.

The Weather Ready-Nation action for the month of February is “When Flooded, Turn Around, Don’t Drown." 

Each year, more deaths occur due to flooding than from any other severe weather-related hazard.  The Center for Disease Control reports that over half of all flood-related drownings occur when a vehicle is driven into hazardous flood water.  Why?  The main reason is people underestimate the force and power of water.  Many of these deaths are preventable, but too many people continue to drive around barriers that warn motorists that a road is flooded. (Source:

With the "big melt" and rainy season approaching, it is important to keep in mind that it takes very little water to sweep a car or truck off a roadway.  The depth of water is not always obvious as roadbeds may be washed out under the water.  Rapidly rising water may stall an engine, engulf a vehicle, and sweep it away.  Two feet of water can carry away almost all vehicles, and only a few inches of water can cause motorists to lose control of their car.

NOAA provides a Flooding Resources center that contains valuable information about flood safety including how to differentiate between watches and warnings, and what actions to take throughout the duration of a flood event.  The site also provides education and outreach materials to share with others. 

Pass this information along to a co-worker, family member, or friend!

Photo Credits: Flooded Road Crossing (John Webber, 2013); When Flooded, Turn Around, Don’t Drown Sign (WRN, 2015)

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