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Every year, paramedics transport patients to the emergency room who were injured during stormy weather.

With severe weather coming up, EMSA has a few tips to help keep Oklahoma residents safe when flood waters start to rise.

  • The key thing people need to remember is this: Turn Around, Don’t Drown. That’s the name of a National Weather Service campaign to warn people of the hazards of driving through flood waters.


  • Over half of all flood-related drownings occur when people drive into high water. People don’t realize the force of the water and how easily it can sweep away a car, sweep you away to your death. That’s why we encourage people to turn around, don’t drown.


  • Just a few inches of fast-moving flood water can knock over an adult. And water that’s just a couple of feet deep can wash away a car, truck or SUV. It doesn’t matter if the water doesn’t come up past the top of your tires. It’s dangerous to drive through rushing water, and you shouldn’t do it.


  • If you come to an area that’s covered with water, you really can’t accurately gauge how deep it is or how fast the water’s rushing. It’s dangerous to guess during the day, and more so at night when vision is limited.


  • Road beds could be washed out under flood waters. Never drive through flooded roadways – you just shouldn’t guess when it comes to something so risky.


  • You’re not just risking your own life when you drive in flood waters, you’re risking the lives of those of us who respond to emergencies. High-water rescues are incredibly dangerous for EMTs, paramedics, firefighters and other responders. Let’s not chance it.


  • When you’re driving and you come to a flooded road, turn around, don’t drown. Yes, it might make your trip longer… yes, it might cause you to use more gasoline… and yes, it might save your life and the lives of others.