It is a darn scary scenario to be trapped in your car when suddenly water covers everything around you. Panicking is surely the last thing you want to be doing: if you have absolutely no knowledge on how to handle the situation, how are you supposed to know what you have to do? Should you call for help? Stay in the car or leave? Don’t worry, we are here to guide your on how to handle perfectly any sort of flood if you’re in your car.
Keep your calm
This is the most important part of all: don’t ever lose your cool. Don’t start panicking around, because it won’t help you in any sort of way. Just tell yourself: it’s fine. Listen, you’re not going to die, lose all your money, or suddenly get abducted by aliens… Unfortunate situation do occur, yes, but nothing that should make you lose control over yourself.
Think before you act, because it still is dangerous outside, and acting rashly out of gut feelings might cause you to get injured or put yourself in a dangerous situation.
Make your presence known, but not by going on top of your roof and waving your hands around like you’ve just won the world cup. Turn on your headlights, rear lights, whatever that’ll allow you to be seen from far away. Emergency personnel are likely to already be around searching for stranded people. These modern heroes will notice the lights and come save you as soon as possible.
Somehow, even if your car seems to be the safest place to be, you should not get yourself locked in. Especially with your seatbelt: remove that thing as soon as you can. A seatbelt will help you not fly away in case of a collision at high speed. You’re trapped in a flood, so most certainly not going at high speed.
As soon as there’s a risk of your car floating and getting taken away by the current, remove your seatbelt, unlock your doors, make yourself visible and hope for the best. If your doors are locked, people trying to save you from outside could end up having a hard time due to you leaving your doors locked.
Open a window to escape
Now, the not-so-fun part. Worst case scenario: your car is sinking, and you’re trapped inside. Ok, if you even ended up in such a situation what the hell have you been doing, just stay indoors whenever it rains…
Open your window slowly to get out of your car whenever you can. Even if the car door is under the water, electrical windows should work still for a few seconds before everything short-circuits, so take that chance to open a window.
Once you’re out, find a high ground, out of water reach and call for 911 if possible.
What if you can’t
You need a plan B for many things in life, and in this case, what if you’re window won’t open itself? Resort to the car doors. If the water pressure renders you unable to open it, use a glass breaker and shatter that car window.
Yes, you may suffer some wounds through climbing out of a broken glass window, but hey, that’s still sort of better than drowning.
Once water height is too high, opening your car doors will physically be impossible due to the water pressure. As such, make sure a keep a glass breaker in your car at all times. Knowing how to swim is essential too, if your car ends up totally submerged.
Leave everything behind
That seems obvious to many, but if your life is in danger, don’t even think about your possessions, because you’ll have trouble swimming with them. Do keep your phone if it’s possible though.
Remove extra clothing
Wearing clothes while swimming is not a good idea. You’ll feel heavy and dragged towards the bottom. Remove any layers, jackets or whatever could restrain you from getting to the surface or moving around.
Don’t try to save the car
At some point, you have to understand that the car is screwed anyways. Just get the hell out of there, because every second you wait inside it, the more danger builds up, so instead of trying to save whatever you can, save your life.
As a summary, keep your calm, and do what you think is best. It’s easy to panic and solely act based on your primary instincts, so remember your main goal: get out of your car and reach high ground. Finally, use your brain well and learn how to swim, please.