How to Survive Flash Flood When You're Trapped In Your Car

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Flash flood season is very quickly coming up on us!  With an average of 300 people drowning in their vehicles, it's very important to know how not become a statistic!  Seconds matter when you need to get out of your car.

Sometimes is easy to see the danger in the waters and you are able to avoid it.  But other times, the water may look calm and you make think its driveable... But then you are swept away.  Here is a step by step process on how to survive a flash flood in your car.

When your car sinks, there is over 2,000 lbs of pressure pushing against your door.  With that amount of pressure, the likelihood of you getting your door open are slim.  When you car begins to go down, roll your window down!  If your window is up, use something in the car to crack your window.  Do not break the front window as it will drastically increase the rate the vehicle sinks.

Climb out of your vehicle and get onto the roof.

Stay low and hang on.  

The moral of this story is, avoid moving water all together! It's not only very dangerous for you, but for the rescuers trying to help you as well. gives this list of Do's & Don'ts


  • Stay calm. You'll need your wits about you.
  • Turn on your headlights and hazard lights. This will make it easier for emergency personnel to see you.
  • Unbuckle your seat belt.
  • Unlock your doors.
  • Take jackets and outer clothing off.
  • Lower your window. Most electric windows should work unless the car is completely submerged in water.
  • If you can lower the windows, do so, but slowly. Climb out. Get to high ground and call 911.
  • If the windows will not open, you'll have to use a door to get out. But you won't be able to open a door until the water pressure is equalized between the outside and the inside of the car. This means you'll have to wait for water to enter the car and fill up to about your neck level (this sounds terrifying, but this is the only way the doors will open).
  • Once the doors are open, swim to safety and call 911.


  • Do not panic.
  • Do not use your energy trying to open the doors because water pressure will keep them from budging (wait for the pressure to equalize).
  • Do not try to save your possessions.
  • Once out, do not stay with your car. Get to high ground.
  • Do not return to your car if you think the water level is going down. Water levels could rise without warning. Allow emergency personnel to tow your vehicle to a safe place.

Source: KOCO 5 News

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