Flooding is one of nature’s most destructive forces, accounting for more deaths than any other weather event in the U.S. each year. First responders play a critical role in rescuing stranded people and preventing more fatalities. However, these responders are exposed to danger too. Here are three tips to remain safe while conducting a rescue mission during floods.
Use Appropriate Vehicles
During an emergency, every second is critical. It’s important that rescuers reach the flooded site quickly and get as near to the victims as possible. Ordinary trucks and all-terrain vehicles are unsuitable for this purpose since they have trouble transitioning from land to water and back. A much safer and more efficient option is a search and rescue amphibious UTV.
Stay Aware of Water Strength
One of the biggest mistakes you can make is underestimating the strength of floodwaters. Even when the water doesn’t appear to be moving, don’t be deceived to get out of the rescue vehicle and walk. Even a few inches of floodwater can knock you off your feet due to its swift undertow. Keep off the waters as much as possible.
Be Mindful of Pathogens
There are lots of pathogens contained in floodwaters that can cause illness. Never conduct a rescue mission without the appropriate safety gear. Make sure you wear gloves and have a face mask. Prevent direct contact between the waters and any part of your skin. In most cases, it’s best to let a water cleanup company deal with the worst of flooding before beginning your work.
As a first responder in a flooded area, you have the opportunity to save lives. As you go about doing so, it’s essential that you take measures to stay safe, so you too don’t become a victim of the flooding.