Just because it is cold out doesn’t mean we’re totally safe from drowning. In fact, across some of the more mountainous regions of the country, melting snow can lead to a surprising amount of flooding danger.
We’ve already shared some tips for avoiding winter drowning danger, focusing on common cold-weather hazards and cold water shock. Today’s post is going beyond this, to help you avoid an often overlooked drowning risk: sudden flooding danger.
Seasonal Woes: Rising Rivers and Flooding Danger
Depending on the weather from year to year, flooding danger can quickly become an unexpected and deadly hazard. For example, in past years there was record snowfall in places like Utah, Wyoming and California. When all that snow melts, it can sometimes be too much for the land to bear. All of this excess water needs to go somewhere. In these cases, the nearby rivers ended up overflowing. During 2017, the flooding danger in California caused over 14 deaths. In other states, many other tragedies occurred as the previously calm waters suddenly rose and swallowed any unfortunate souls caught nearby.
No Matter How Calm It Seems, Beware of the Water
On the whole, the best way to avoid flooding danger is to be prepared. No matter the season, if you’re near a body of water, it should be treated with a degree of trepidation. You can never be absolutely sure of your safety when standing near a stream or river. First and foremost, it pays to understand the weather and potential risk. If it’s been a particularly rainy or snowy season, take extra precautions. Don’t take any unnecessary risks by standing near the water if it is not absolutely necessary.
One of the best things you can do to help ensure your own personal safety is to learn how to swim. Swimming lessons are a crucial safety measure no matter your age. Understanding how to stay afloat and navigate in the water can save your life. That goes for flooding danger, and any other drowning hazard.
Additionally, you’ll want to understand how to save yourself from drowning. In a situation like a sudden flooding danger, you may find yourself caught in a strong current or riptide. Above all, the key is to avoid panicking. This will never help your situation. Instead, read the blog at the link above for further details on how to help get back to dry land in an emergency situation.
Life Jackets Save Lives
As a reaction to the flooding danger in California in 2017, the authorities began placing floatation devices in key strategic areas. The goal here was to provide aid to any passersby who found themselves in a potentially deadly situation. That’s a great idea, but why not take it a step further? Bring your own personal flotation device. We don’t expect people to be constantly wearing a life jacket, but if you’re going to be near a potentially dangerous body of water, it’s a smart idea to bring one along. Just remember that when it comes to floatation devices, not all are made equal. If you are bringing a life jacket, you should be absolutely sure that it is U.S. Coast Guard-approved.
Flooding danger can be sudden and terrifying. That said, like most drowning hazards, it can be avoided with careful preparation and education.