What you need to know Flash floods

ER24 responded to numerous incidents yesterday afternoon, which carried on through the evening.

With the heavy rainfall, scores of motorists and homeowners saw themselves stranded.

One of the largest scenes we responded to was on the N3 highway near the Linksfield turnoff in Johannesburg, which left more that 150 motor vehicles and their drivers stranded.

Initial reports on the scene stated that there had been several fatalities and numerous other injured.

ER24 paramedics also responded to several other incidents in and around Johannesburg, after receiving reports of severe flooding.

Below are some tips that we at ER24 urge all the members of the public to take note of.

A flash flood is a rapid flooding of a low-lying area. It may be caused by heavy rain associated with a severe thunderstorm, hurricane or even a tropical storm. Flash floods are distinguished from regular floods by a timescale of less than six hours. You will not always have a warning that these deadly, sudden floods are coming. So, if you live in areas prone to flash floods, plan accordingly in order to protect your family and property. Below is a list of tips.

Your home:

  • Keep emergency numbers and important information handy. Also keep emergency supplies such as water, canned food, a can opener, battery-operated radio, flashlight and protective clothing ready.
  • Keep a first aid kit.
  • Turn off all your household electrical devices.
  • Lock all doors and windows.
  • Leave the area before it gets too late. Get to higher ground.

Should you be outdoors or in your vehicle, do the following:

  • Climb to higher ground and stay there.
  • Avoid walking through floodwaters – even 15 centimeters deep can sweep you off your feet.
  • If floodwaters rise around your car but the water is not moving, abandon the car and move to higher ground.
  • Never drive through a flooded road as the road may be washed away.
  • If you get swept away in the flood waters, try to grab onto anything you can to pull yourself to safety.
  • Getting swept away while inside your vehicle can be extremely dangerous. If you are stuck inside your vehicle, roll down the windows and open the doors to allow water into your vehicle. Doing this will equal the pressure on both sides of the door, allowing you to escape your vehicle.

By following these few tips, you will be prepared in the event of a flash flood and remember, call 084124 for RealHelpRealFast.

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