While the East Coast might be done with Hurricane/Tropical Storm Irene now, many areas are still in the throes of storm season, which lasts from June until October. You’ve seen it on the news, but what would you do if you were stuck in a submerged car during flooding?
Forbes.com advises first and foremost, to try to avoid such a thing from happening in the first place.
This means avoiding areas likely to flood during or immediately after a hard rain, and don’t think your car can definitely make it through shallow standing water. It might not be as shallow as you think.
The National Safety Council says if you do become submerged, stay calm and buckled in. The deeper the water, the longer you have to remain floating and able to escape. Unlock doors and open the windows if you can, then unbuckle yourself (and anyone else) and go out the windows and swim to safety.
If the windows don’t open, try to kick one out, or keep a tool in the car to break one. A good idea if you live somewhere that floods a lot. When that isn’t an option, try opening the door again when the pressure is equalized on both side of the door.
The AAA says you shouldn’t start your car after submersion before getting it cleaned and checked out to make sure parts haven’t corroded. The damage might be bad enough, however, that your insurance company will consider it to be a goner.