Stay Safe in High Water
Wear an approved personal
flotation device when
working in or around water.
Do not walk in floodwaters.
Supervise children closely. Do
not allow them near high
water, storm drains or other
Observe all hazard warnings
Take the recommended
routes—do not try shortcuts.
Avoid areas subject to flash
flooding such as gullies and
creek beds—particularly during
wet weather or thunderstorms.
Watch for flooding at low
areas on the highway, bridges
Never drive a vehicle into
water if you are not certain of
If the vehicle stalls in rising
water, get out to safety, rather
than attempting to restart it.
Never go sightseeing during a
disaster. Stay away from floods
Avoid the waterfront during a
hurricane because of the
danger of storm surge. This
high water caused by the wind
is the greatest killer during
hurricanes. The torrential rain
of a hurricane can also trigger
flash floods inland.
Floodwater is treacherous. The
possibility of drowning is very real
if you attempt to cross the water
on foot or if you are caught in
rising water while operating heavy
equipment or an automobile.
PREPAREDNESS IN THE WORKPLACE
If you have never
experienced a serious emergency in your workplace, you might
find it hard to imagine such a thing could happen.
However, every day in job settings something goes seriously
It could be a fire, fatal injury, flood, earthquake,
shooting, hurricane, tornado, chemical spill or another kind
of crisis. Whether everyone survives and escapes injury
depends on how well they are prepared for an emergency.
Are you prepared to survive a workplace emergency? You
should be receiving regular training and practice dealing
with the types of emergencies most likely to occur where you
The first survival tool is knowledge. You need to know what
can go wrong. Are hazardous chemicals stored or transported
near your workplace? Is your workplace an essential service
or a high-profile setting that could be targeted by
terrorists? Are you located in a tornado zone or a natural
Second, you must know how to get out of the building and
reach safety. Right now, can you point out two exits from
your work area? Elevators don’t count because you
should not use them in any emergency. Do you know
where you are to assemble with your fellow workers after an
evacuation of the building? This is an important
aspect of the emergency procedure because if you do not show
up there, an emergency crew might have to risk injury
looking for you. Evacuation procedures can be summed up as
follows: Get out, go to a safe place and stay there.
Third, do you know what other duties you are expected to
perform in an emergency? You need to know how to call
for help. Emergency phone numbers should be posted at each
telephone in your workplace, along with the address and
directions to your work area. Your responsibilities might
include checking for stragglers and shutting doors as you
leave, or assisting a fellow worker who uses a wheelchair.
You might also be assigned responsibility for shutting down
equipment or chemical processes in an emergency. If you are
supposed to fight fire, clean up hazardous chemicals or
rescue victims, you will need special training and
The time to learn about these emergency procedures is
now—not after something goes wrong. Your employer has
developed a plan for the kinds of emergencies that can be
reasonably expected. You need to find out your own part in
the plan, learn how to do it and practice it. Also, make
sure you find out who is in charge in an emergency. Should
you be listening to your supervisor or to a security
You should also be familiar with the various alarm sounds
and lights in your workplace. Alarm systems typically have
different signals for fire and intruder emergencies. There
may also be specific alarms related to hazardous equipment,
chemicals, gases and other hazards.
Do your best to plan for the worst—that’s the basis of
emergency preparedness. Please see the linked brochure
titled, “Turn Around, Don’t Drown,” prepared by the National
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.