Natural disasters can occur anywhere, anytime. Added to all the unnatural disasters, there must be 1,001 ways to die in your RV. But, don’t fret. If you listen to my advise in this post, you can narrow that down to only 1,000 ways to die in your RV.
Flash floods are the #1 cause of weather related deaths (lightning strikes are the #1 cause of weather related camping deaths). About 50% of flash flood deaths are vehicle related. How can you survive a flash flood in an RV?
Experts tell us- Do not walk or drive through water unless you are sure of its depth. Do not attempt to drive through water over 18 inches. Do not attempt to walk through water that is over 6 inches. ??? So, how can you know for sure that the water is not over 18 inches, when you can’t walk through water over 6 inches??? And, even this 6/18 inch rule should be followed with great caution. Your safety also depends on the swiftness of the water, as well as the ground clearance and weight of your rig, and other unknowns.
Many passenger vehicles will easily stall out in 18 inches of non-moving water, or in only a few inches of water if driving too fast. And, 6 inches of swiftly moving water can wash away lighter vehicles. As well as knowing for sure how deep the water is, you also have to know for sure how much ground clearance your motor has.
My dad once almost got washed off a low-water bridge, in his truck and camper, with less than a foot of swift water. But, he once drove, with little problem, through about three feet of still water.
And, if 6 inches of swift water can wash away a small vehicle, does a 200 pound man stand a chance? What about a 50 pound child? Children have very little chance of surviving flood waters, whether on foot or trying to escape a vehicle. Children have very little chance of surviving flood waters- Don’t take chances with children.
Never camp within the high water mark. The high water mark of a river or stream is generally where river or creek bed meets the banks. Never go to sleep on a dry riverbed or creek bed. Flash floods don’t just occur in the natural stream channels. They can occur in any low lying areas. Never camp at the bottom of a canyon, or anywhere that sudden rains might funnel. When flood waters threaten, always head to higher ground, whether on foot or in your vehicle.
Regularly monitor weather conditions. Tune in for weather alerts, and pay attention to flood watches and flood warnings.
Avoid walking or driving through any flood waters, if at all possible. Avoid walking or driving through any swiftly moving water. Is anything on the other side, worth your life? Never try to drive fast through water; it can cause loss of control, and it will likely drown out your vehicle . Also, you simply don’t know how deep the water is, or what’s in it.
A good friend of mine lived across a small creek that regularly flooded. He would usually drive his pickup fast through the water to get across. One dark night, the high water had caused a tree to fall in the road through the creek. He didn’t see it before the limbs rammed through the windshield. He died.