Turn Around Don’t Drown, or TADD for short is an NOAA National Weather Service campaign used to educate people about the hazards of driving a vehicle or walking through flood waters. This year is the 10th anniversary of the TADD program. Hundreds of signs depicting the message have been erected at low water crossings during the past decade. The phrase “Turn Around Don’t Drown” has become a catchphrase in the media, classroom, and even at home. It’s one thing to see or hear the phrase, and another to put it into practice.
Flooding is the 2nd leading cause of weather-related fatalities in the U.S. (behind heat). On average, flooding claims the lives of 89 people each year. Most of these deaths occur in motor vehicles when people attempt to drive through flooded roadways. Many other lives are lost when people walk into flood waters. This happens because people underestimate the force and power of water, especially when it is moving. The good news is most flooding deaths are preventable with the right knowledge.
Just six inches of fast-moving water can knock over an adult. Only eighteen inches of flowing water can carry away most vehicles, including large SUVs. It is impossible to tell the exact depth of water covering a roadway or the condition of the road below the water. This is especially true at night when your vision is more limited. It is never safe to drive or walk through flood waters. Any time you come to a flooded road, walkway, or path, follow this simple rule: Turn Around Don’t Drown.
For more information on the TADD program, visit http://tadd.weather.gov. For flood safety tips, visit our newly redesigned website at www.floodsafety.noaa.gov. Join us tomorrow for information on flood hazards.