News From Our Blog

Squeezing in a last minute end of summer vacation? it never hurts to refresh your memory of travel safety tips.

Beware Flash Flood Dangers

Flash floods occur in all 50 states, including Alaska and Hawaii. And unfortunately, many homeowners do not find out until it’s too late that their policies do not cover flooding. Because of this, it’s important to take proper precautions to protect yourself, family, and home should flooding occur.

  • Almost half of flash flood fatalities occur in vehicles. It doesn’t take much water (about 2 feet) to wash cars and SUVs off the road. When you approach a flooded road, TURN AROUND.

  • Flash floods are increasingly likely around streams. When hunting, boating, fishing or camping be aware of your proximity to the water. During a storm a 6-inch deep creek can become a 10-foot deep river in less than an hour. Immediately head to higher ground when the weather shows signs of a storm.

  • High risk locations include: low water crossings, recent burn areas, and urban areas (where pavement collects run off). Be aware of your surroundings, and their risk.

  • Listen to NOAA radio, or check  their website for warnings and advisories for flooding. Use their AHPS map to see where flooded spots are, and avoid traveling in those places.

  • Develop a family evacuation plan, so everyone knows where they should go should your home be in danger of flooding. Determine a meeting spot and communication system to be used if not all family members are together.

Loss of power can jeopardize the safety of your food. Know how to tell if food is still safe for consumption:

It’s easy to forget what you can and can’t bring on board planes. Remind yourself when packing for your next trip.

Help Us Tweet (and Facebook) to Beat Heatstroke on July 31

By National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Acting Administrator David Friedman

Summer is supposed to be a time of fun and freedom for children. But, too often during the summer months, a child left alone in a vehicle dies due to heatstroke. Already this year 18 children died due to heatstroke, in addition to the 44 children we lost in 2013.

To help parents and caregivers protect children, NHTSA launched the “Where’s Baby? Look Before You Lock” public education campaign. The campaign’s web page – safecar.gov/heatstroke – seeks to arm parents, caregivers, and bystanders with the information they need to protect our kids.

This year, we’re also again asking everyone on Twitter and Facebook to help spread our lifesaving message as part of Heatstroke Awareness Day on July 31.

To prevent heatstroke, parents need to understand that vehicles heat up quickly—even with a window rolled down two inches. If the outside temperature is in the low 80s degrees Fahrenheit, the temperature inside a vehicle can reach deadly levels in only 10 minutes.

Heatstroke is a serious risk even with temperatures in the 60s or 70s and cracking a window does not help. When a child’s temperature reaches 107 degrees that child dies.

The threat of heatstroke is real, which is why NHTSA offers helpful tips on how to help keep children safe at safercar.gov/heatstroke. We hope that you’ll help share this advice on Facebook and on Twitter on July 31.

Along with our partners, Safe Kids and the Administration for Children and Families, we’ll be tweeting and posting every 30 minutes from 8 AM to 4 PM. Our Twitter account - @NHTSAgov – will be using the hashtags #checkforbaby and #heatstrokekills on all of our social media posts, and we’d like you to do the same.

Our commitment to preventing heatstroke extends all the way up to the Secretary’s Office at the U.S. Department of Transportation and throughout the federal government.

Secretary Anthony Foxx and I recently visited the Rosemount Early Childhood Development Center in Northwest Washington to warn of the danger of heatstroke. We were also joined by Mark Greenberg, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Acting Assistant Secretary for Children and Families, who spoke about HHS’ efforts to spread the word and combat heatstroke.

But the most powerful message sent at our heatstroke event came from Reginald McKinnon, who lost his 2-year old daughter when he accidentally left her in his vehicle four years ago. His story is a heart wrenching reminder that this tragedy can happen to anyone. Reggie has shown great courage by choosing to dedicate his time to helping parents avoid a similar tragedy.

Every single death from leaving children in hot cars is 100 percent avoidable, and even one heatstroke death is too many. To learn more about how you can help keep children safe visit safercar.gov/heatstroke. And please join with us on Facebook and Twitter on July 31 to help spread the word that heatstroke kills.