Austin-Travis County EMS Vehicle Water Rescue Safety Tips
Pre-plan your trip by knowing what type of weather conditions you may be traveling in. If possible, plan your routes on familiar, well lit, and improved roadways.
Allow for extra travel time; don’t be in a hurry to get where you are going.
Plan alternative routes to your destination; there may be a safer way to get where you need to go.
Keep your cell-phone or other media devices fully charged prior to travel, this may be your only source of information or communication.
Keep others informed about your time of departure, route of travel and expected time of arrival.
First and foremost Turn Around Don’t Drown®! Avoid ALL flooded roadways, and do not drive around barricades at Low Water Crossings regardless of how shallow or slow moving the surface water may appear to be flowing. Water covering a roadway may be hiding a washed out bridge or road bed…you may not be driving on an improved road!
Should you find yourself in a low-lying area during a flood, get to higher ground quickly. Avoid canyons, washes or ditches that can channel swift water.
If your car is stranded in swift moving water, don’t panic, stay calm and dial 911. Roll the window down on the downstream side (opposite side of the direction of water flow) of the vehicle and remain with your vehicle until help arrives.
If your car fills with water exit your vehicle through a sun roof or through the open window on the downstream side and remain in place on top of your vehicle.
If you are swept into fast moving floodwater outside of your car, place yourself in a Defensive Swim position, by floating on your back with your head up and chin on your chest and swimming with your feet pointing downstream. This allows you to kick away and maneuver yourself around debris with your legs prior to striking them.
In your Defensive Swim Position, always maneuver yourself around or over obstacles.
If you become stranded on something above the floodwater, e.g. car, tree, building, etc…stay put and wait for rescue. Do not enter or re-enter the floodwater.
When help arrives, stay calm and follow the directions of the rescue team.