March 19-23 Flood Safety Awareness Week


         NOAA’s National Weather Service wants the public to know that floods can kill, and a few simple safety measures can mean the difference between life and death.  Flood Safety Awareness Week is March 19-23.

          “Flooding is one of ’s most under-rated killers,” said Brig. Gen. David L. Johnson, U.S. Air Force (Ret.), director of NOAA’s National Weather Service. “Many people drown in floods because they underestimate the incredible power of water.”

          On average, nearly 100 people are killed each year due to flooding, and approximately 60 percent of those deaths are the result of people driving into flooded roadways.  Six inches of fast-moving flood water can knock over an adult, and it takes only two feet of rushing water to carry away most vehicles, including pickups and SUVs.

          “Most flood-related deaths and injuries could be avoided if people who come upon areas covered with water simply followed the ‘Turn Around, Don’t Drown’ flood safety campaign slogan,” said Johnson.

          During Flood Safety Awareness Week, NOAA’s National Weather Service is emphasizing these safety rules:

  • Monitor NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards and for vital weather-related information.
  • If flooding occurs or is expected to occur, get to higher ground. Leave areas subject to flooding. This includes dips, low spots, canyons and washes.
  • Avoid areas already flooded, especially if the water is flowing fast. Do not attempt to cross flowing streams.Turn Around, Don’t Drown”™.
  • Road beds may be washed out under flood waters. Never drive through flooded roadways. “Turn Around, Don’t Drown”™.
  • Do not camp or park vehicles along streams and washes, particularly during threatening conditions.
  • Be especially cautious at night when it is harder to recognize flood dangers.

          Each day during Flood Safety Awareness Week will highlight some of the many ways floods can occur, the hazards associated with floods, and what you can do to sae life and property.  Topics throughout the week include the Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service (AHPS), Turn Around, Don’t Drown”™ safety campaign, snowmelt flooding, Flood Insurance, and Flood Safety.

          "We are working hard to make it safer," said Thomas Graziano, Ph.D., chief of the hydrologic services division of NOAA’s National Weather Service.  "Leveraging advances in science and technology and working hadn-in-hand with valued partners including emergency managers, safety officials, and the media, expands access to more timely and site-specific flood forecasts and warning that save lives and valuable community resources.

            The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, an agency of the U.S. Commerce Department, is celebrating 200 years of science and service to the nation. From the establishment of the Survey of the Coast in 1807 by Thomas Jefferson to the formation of the Weather Bureau and the Commission of Fish and Fisheries in the 1870s, much of ’s scientific heritage is rooted in NOAA.

            NOAA is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and information service delivery for transportation, and by providing environmental stewardship of our nation’s coastal and marine resources. Through the emerging Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS), NOAA is working with its federal partners, more than 60 countries and the European Commission to develop a global monitoring network that is as integrated as the planet it observes, predicts and protects.

Return to News Archive is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.