Family Protection Program: Disaster Driving Tips


After almost every disaster, search and rescue teams find victims who might have survived if they had known whether to stay with or leave their car. Drivers in various types of emergencies should remember the following tips. The most important advice to remember is not to panic.




Get out of the car. A car is the least safe place to be during a tornado. Leave it and find shelter in a building. If there are no safe structures nearby, lie flat in a ditch with your arms over your head.



Never attempt to drive through water on a road. Water can be deeper than it appears and water levels can rise quickly. Wade through floodwaters only if water is not flowing rapidly and only in water no higher than your knees. Attempt to get to higher ground, but be careful because manhole covers can be off.



Stay in the car. Avoid driving in severe winter storms. If you are caught in a storm and your car becomes immobilized, stay in the vehicle and await rescue. Do not attempt to walk from your car unless you can see a definite safe haven at a reasonable distance. Disorientation during blizzards comes rapidly.



Stay in the car. Bring the car to a halt as soon as is safely possible, then remain in the car until shaking stops. Avoid stopping near or under buildings, overpasses, and utility wires. After quaking stops, proceed cautiously; avoid bridges and other elevated structures that could have been damaged by the quake.



Evacuate early. Flooding can begin well before a hurricane nears land. Plan to evacuate early and keep a full tank of gas during hurricane season. Make arrangements to stay inland until the storm has passed. Avoid driving on coastal or low-lying roads.