Toronto, Ontario — Ocean levels are on the rise and flooding is a near daily occurrence in parts of Canada; knowing what to do when your car starts filling with water is more important now than ever.
One of the most basic and still most important rules to follow in a flood is to trust the signs. It is never worth the risk to think “Road Out” signs are reserved for cars smaller than your own. No matter how much you lift your truck, it is not a boat. As well, lighter vehicles actually are capable of floating in as little as six inches of water.
If you do end up in a situation where the vehicle is filling with water, remember the acronym SWOC: Seatbelts off; windows open; and children out first. This procedure was developed by professor Gordon Giesbrecht from the University of Manitoba.
It is also recommended that older children be rescued first as they are more capable of following instructions and assisting from outside the vehicle.
Once the vehicle is clear from the flood, remove water from the interior as quickly as possible. Pooling water in the vehicle interior may lead to more electrical and mechanical damage. Wet vacuuming and ventilating the car thoroughly is also important to prevent mould, mildew and smells which could make it undriveable and not re-sellable.