Lincoln, IL. (WTHI) -- It's that time of the year when the storm team wants to make sure you're prepared for severe weather.
This week is severe weather preparedness week for Illinois. Indiana's preparedness week begins on March 14th. The focus this year is that although tornadoes are a big concern, thunderstorms, heavy wind, and flooding are just as important.
For this week, on Monday, we will discuss flooding, on Tuesday we will discuss severe thunderstorms, and on Wednesday we will focus on tornadoes.
In 2015, 14 people died attempting to drive across flooded roads. That was the highest number of flood fatalities in a year for Illinois.
Flooding commonly comes from creeks, rivers, and flash flooding in roads and waterways. However, the most dangerous type of flooding is a flash flood, or when the water rises quickly.
When flooding occurs, many think their car can make it through but that's not always the case.
Chris Miller, the Acting Meteorologist-in-Charge of the Lincoln, Illinois National Weather Service says in the last few years, they've seen an increase in flooding fatalities.
"A lot of these tend to occur later in the day, especially at night when it's really hard to judge the depth of the water on the roadway. So, the best advice. We've said this for many years, turn around, don't drown," said Miller.
Miller says even if you have a bigger vehicle, that does not mean you are spared from flooding damage or worse.
"If you're in a pick-up truck that's elevated off the ground, or a SUV or something like that, those vehicles can float and drift away in the water with as little as two feet of water," Miller explained.
During a flood, you're encouraged to monitor the radio and television for the latest weather alerts. You can also download the Storm Team 10 app to get those alerts straight to your phone.
If your area is experiencing flooding and local officials tell you to evacuate, you should move quickly to avoid facing deep water and follow the recommended evacuation routes.
Miller says to avoid creeks or streams and go to areas with higher elevation.
To protect objects in your home that cannot leave with you in an evacuation, place them on the upper floor or a location that is higher up.