3B.3 Turn Around Don't Drown (TM)

Monday, 4 October 2004: 5:00 PM
Hector Guerrero, NOAA/NWS, San Angelo, TX; and K. Boyd, D. Cain, and L. Chapman

NOAA’s National Weather Service (NWS) and The Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH-www.flash.org) launched a new flood safety awareness campaign to help save lives from the nation’s number one storm related killer. The name of this new campaign is called Turn Around Don't Drown (TM)(TADD-www.srh.weather.gov/tadd). Since "Stop, Drop, and Roll" has already saved a multitude of lives from citizens burning to death, it is hoped "Turn Around Don't Drown (TM)" will save many lives from drowning in flood waters.

Statistics show around 80 percent of flood related deaths occur to people who either drive or walk into flooded areas. This new campaign was launched from NOAA’s NWS Southern Region Headquarters on May 21st of 2003, and is expanding nationwide.

In addition to explaining the origin and purpose of TADD, several examples will be presented demonstrating how this flood safety slogan is spreading across the United States. To name a few, the city of San Antonio, Texas, has placed bumper stickers on all police, fire, and city vehicles. The city will also install road signs on dangerous low water crossings. The Weather Channel regularly uses this phrase on the air. Meanwhile, the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes with its many partners including Home Depot, has printed and distributed thousands of FLASH cards. Their contributions have helped NOAA's National Weather Service communicate the message across many states in the U.S.

Most importantly, at an outreach event in Hilo, Hawaii, two families specifically mentioned the Turn Around Don't Drown(TM) message in their decision not to drive through roadways flooded by torrential rains on January 23, 2004, a decision which may have saved them from unnecessary injury or death.

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