Like most natural disasters, a bit of preparation ahead of time can go a long way. If you know there’s a high flood risk in your area, start by heading for high ground or out of the path of the storm. If, however, evacuating isn’t an option, you run the chance of finding yourself squaring off with one of nature’s most prolific killers: water.

If it can make the Grand Canyon, it sure as hell can mess up your Sunday. Here’s what to do if you find yourself squaring off with a wall of water:

  1. Dump whatever you’re carrying and book it for high ground.
  2. If the water starts to rise around  you, look for something to climb (like a tree) and get as high as possible.
  3. If you find yourself swept up in the flood, you are in trouble. Try to orient yourself so your legs are out in front of you so you can use them to stop you from being bashed into any hard objects in your path.
  4. Protect your upper body and head at all costs. You’re going to get hurt, but you can survive if you keep your head above water and your torso free of holes.
  5. Try to steer clear of obstructions in your path. Getting out of the flood is a top priority, but you don’t want to end up pinned up against an obstruction in the effort. Your chances of being killed increase dramatically the more the flood hits you with debris.
  6. Go with the current and work your way toward an edge until you’re in shallow enough water to escape.

Feature image courtesy of the National Parks Service