What Should You Do If You’re Caught Driving in a Flood?

Lisa Steuer McArdle
· 3 min read
Hurricane season is here, and many areas have already been unfortunately affected by flooding. In fact, flooding is one of the most common natural disasters in the country.
Hurricane Ida recently wreaked havoc in
. Remnants of the storm also recently caused severe flooding in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut.
Here’s what to know about
comprehensive insurance
for flooding and staying safe if you’re driving during a flood.
Never attempt to drive through fast-moving waters.

Flooding basics

The National Weather Service defines flooding at the temporary overflow of water in an area that is normally dry.
Then there’s the flash flood, which is a subcategory of flooding. That’s defined as a sudden and violent flood that develops very quickly—from hours or sometimes even minutes.
As NBC New York points out, it’s even possible to experience a flash flood in an area that did not immediately receive rain—that’s why everyone should be prepared ahead of time in case you find yourself in this situation.
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If you’re caught in flooding

Obviously, the best precaution to take is to avoid driving at all if there is a hurricane warning in your area. But due to unexpected circumstances you still may find one day that you encounter high waters while you are driving.
So what should you do?
First of all, never attempt to drive through flood waters. If you are already trapped by moving water, the best thing to do is to try to get to the highest point possible and call 911 if you can.
If floodwaters do surround your car or the car stalls, abandon the car and get to higher ground if it’s possible to do so safely. Unfortunately, many tragic accidents occur when people and their cars are swept away by floodwaters.
In fact, according to
NBC New York
, a vehicle caught in fast-moving water can be swept away in seconds.
If you are unable to get to higher ground, try to avoid walking through swift water. It’s especially important to avoid walking through flowing water that is above your ankle. Turn around and walk the other way if you encounter this.
Remember, swift-moving water can be deeper than it appears and can hide hazards such as sharp objects, electrical wires, and more.
Be extra careful if you find yourself in this situation at night, because it’s harder to recognize flood dangers.

Flooding and comprehensive car insurance

It’s a good idea to make sure you have a good comprehensive car insurance plan in place, because that’s the type of coverage that would protect you in the event a flood damaged your car.
This type of insurance typically covers things like damage due to vandalism, natural disaster, contact with animals or other that don’t involve a collision with another vehicle.
Some states require comprehensive insurance, but others do not. Even if it’s not required in your state, it’s worth considering.

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