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  • Flash floods can strike with almost no warning.

  • Heavy rains can escalate quickly and turn a light drizzle into a raging river.

  • From Lifehacker, this is the Disaster Manual.

  • First, here's how to know if a flood is coming your way.

  • You might receive an alert from the National Weather Service.

  • If a Flood Watch has been issued, that means flash flooding is possible in your area.

  • A Flood Warning means that floods are already occurring and you should be prepared to evacuate.

  • As soon as you receive word of a flash flood, make your way to higher ground, which is any ground or structure that's higher in elevation than other ground.

  • Water is always going to flow down, so hilltops, upper levels of buildings, and other elevated areas are less likely to be affected by flood waters.

  • If you see flood waters, head in the opposite direction.

  • Avoid all moving water if possible.

  • Even six inches of rushing water can knock you over and sweep you into peril.

  • If you must walk through water to safety, find spots that are shallow and stagnant.

  • Use a sturdy stick to gauge water depth in front of you and check the stability of the ground.

  • Watch out for mud and other slippery surfaces like rocks.

  • Avoid any electrical equipment like fallen power lines, and if flood waters have reached your home, do not use your electricity.

  • If you do get swept away, float on your back, shoulders first.

  • Your head should be pointing in the direction the water is flowing from, so you'll be able to see debris careening toward you, which is more important than seeing where you're going.

  • Always go over obstacles, never under.

  • And grab or climb onto something as soon as you're able.

  • If you're traveling in a vehicle, never attempt a water crossing.

  • You cannot accurately gauge water depth from inside a car.

  • As little as six inches of water can cause you to lose control and stall, so turn around and find another route.

  • In the event that water overtakes your vehicle, get out immediately.

  • Unbuckle your seatbelt and roll down the windows.

  • Break them if you have to.

  • You'll want water to flow freely into the vehicle to equalize the pressure building up outside.

  • Then you'll be able to open the door and swim out.

  • Wherever you find yourself, remember, get to higher ground, wait for the waters to subside, then get to safety.

Flash floods can strike with almost no warning.

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