Would You Know What to Do If You Were Trapped in a Flash Flood?

Would you know what to do if you were caught in a flash flood?

June 15, 2010 — -- This morning on "Good Morning America" you heard about the deadly flash floods in Oklahoma and Arkansas.

On Monday, a severe rainstorm resulted in flash flooding that stranded residents and motorists, prompting rescues.

On Friday, flash floods killed an estimated 20 people who camped out at the Albert Pike Recreation Area in Montgomery County, Arkansas, on Friday.

More people die from flooding every year than from any other thunderstorm or hurricane-related hazard, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

You heard the following crucial advice on the show:

If you're caught in a flash flood, don't drive through or over a flooded road or bridge. Back up and try a higher route; don't stay in a flooded car.

If your vehicle is surrounded by water, get out and seek higher ground.

If you are stranded in a tree or building, don't leave it to enter the flood water. Stay and await rescuers.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have other advice for coping with this dire situation. Here are a few of their tips:

What to Do When Facing a Flash Flood

Be very aware of your car's limitations. If you drive in water that's six inches deep or more, your car could stall or you could lose control of it. One foot of water is enough to float most cars, and two feet of rushing water can indeed carry away cars, SUVs and pick-ups.

Do not panic if your car becomes submerged by flood waters. Release your seat belt, roll down your window and get out of the car. If your windows won't open, let the car fill with water. Once that happens, you will be able to open the doors. Get out of the car immediately and swim to the surface. Do not stay in the car until it sinks.

If you are swept away in fast-moving water, try to make sure your feet are pointed downstream.

If you are swept away, make every effort to direct your body over obstacles rather than under them.

If you are on foot, be aware that you can be knocked down by just six inches of moving water. If you come upon moving water, do not walk into it.

If you can, try to avoid contact with any flood waters. The water may be contaminated with raw sewage, oil or gasoline, and may also be charged with electricity from down power lines.

Be especially vigilant at night, when it's harder to recognize potentially deadly road hazards.

Do not camp or park your car along rivers or washes, especially during heavy rains or thunderstorms.

Stay informed. Tune in to your local radio station during bad weather.

If a flash flood is issued for your area, get to higher ground immediately. You may only have a few seconds before the danger is unavoidable.

Click HERE for more of FEMA's flood safety tips.

Click HERE for more NOAA's flood safety tips.

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