Every year, people are seriously injured or killed at dams. Most of these accidents could be avoided by simply staying clear of the restricted zones at dams, by understanding the dangers dams can create, and by obeying all warning devices.

Important Tips To Stay Safe

  • Always stay a safe distance outside of warning signs, buoys and barriers when fishing, boating or swimming.
  • Stay away from the edge of waters above and below hydroelectric stations.
  • Be sure to obey all warning signs and signals.
  • Stay back from dry riverbeds below dams. They can quickly change into rapidly flowing waterways.

Be Alert For The Warning Signs Of Rising Water:

  • Flashing lights, horns, or sirens.
  • Increased or changed wildlife activity.
  • Louder sound of rushing water.
  • Previously exposed rocks or snags are covered with water.
  • Clear water quickly becomes cloudy.
  • Suddenly faster water currents.

Critical Danger Zones At Dams

Don’t Take Chances When Boating Or Canoeing

  • Never anchor a boat below a dam. Rapid surges in water levels can pull an anchored boat under water in seconds.
  • Beware of dangerous and unseen currents. Backrollers, eddys, and whirlpools can pull a boat upstream into a spillway and quickly capsize it.
  • Boating above or below a dam can be very dangerous. Always maintain a safe distance from the dam. Keep your motor running when near a dam so that you are always ready to maneuver or leave the area quickly.
  • Stay away from spillways. Changing currents and unpredictable waves make boat control difficult.

Flood Safety

Each year, more deaths occur due to flooding than from any other severe weather related hazard. The main reason is people underestimate the force and power of water. More than half of all flood related deaths result from vehicles being swept downstream. Of these, many are preventable.

Follow These Safety Rules:

  • Monitor the NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards, or your favorite news source for vital weather-related information.
  • If flooding occurs, get to higher ground. Get out of areas subject to flooding. This includes dips, low spots, canyons, washes etc.
  • Avoid areas already flooded, especially if the water is flowing fast. Do not attempt to cross flowing streams. Turn Around Don’t Drown.
  • Road beds may be washed out under flood waters. NEVER drive through flooded roadways. Turn Around Don’t Drown.
  • Do not camp or park your vehicle along streams and rivers, particularly during threatening conditions.
  • Be especially cautious at night when it is harder to recognize flood dangers.