National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce


Tuesday, March 19th, 2013

...2013 National Flood Safety Awareness Week...

The National Weather Service continues its annual Flood Safety Awareness Week campaign today through Friday, March 22nd. This year the National Weather Service is also commemorating the centennial anniversary of the Great Ohio Valley Flood of 1913 which occurred between March 23 and 27th and was the largest weather disaster in Ohio’s history.

The Great Ohio Valley Flood of 1913 "Turn Around Don't Drown" Poster   2011 U.S. Flood Fatality Statistics


Today’s focus for flood awareness is on the National Weather Service campaign to warn the public about the dangers of entering flood waters through the slogan “Turn Around, Don’t Drown.” Unfortunately, too many people underestimate the force and power of water. As a result, on average more deaths occur each year due to flooding than from any other weather related hazard. More than half of all flood related deaths result from vehicles being swept away downstream by flood water. Of these drowning deaths, many could have been prevented by people simply not driving into flooding areas.

The following flood safety rules can help save your life.

• If flooding occurs, get to higher ground immediately! Get out of areas that are subject to flooding. Such areas include any low spots, dips in roads, canyons, and washes.

• Avoid areas that are already flooded, especially if the water is flowing fast. Never attempt to cross flowing streams. It only takes six inches of quick moving water to knock a person off of their feet.

• Flooded roads often have significant damage hidden by the water. Never drive through flooded roadways, as water only two feet deep can float most automobiles. Turn around, don’t drown!

• Do not allow children to play near high water, storm drains or ditches. Hidden dangers could lie beneath the water.

• Do not camp or park your vehicle along streams and washes, especially during

threatening conditions.

• Be particularly cautious at night when it is much harder to recognize flood dangers.


Additional information about Flood Safety Awareness Week can be found at WWW.FLOODSAFETY.NOAA.GOV or For more information about the Great Ohio Valley Flood of 1913 please visit