Monsoon Season begins in South Korea
From the beginning of July through the end of September, the Korean peninsula experiences its monsoon season bringing heavy rains to many parts of the peninsula.
These rains can cause floods, which are one of most common and destructive natural hazards. Floodwaters can be deceptively deep and fast-moving. The fast moving waters can lead to injury, property damage and potentially death. Floods come in two varieties, normal flooding of waterways and flash floods.
Normal floods may take hours or days to occur with the accumulation of rainwater or meltwater causing existing waterways to rise above their banks. Due to the amount of time it takes for the water levels to rise, these types of floods, while dangerous, often give ample time for evacuation.
Flash floods occur when sudden heavy rains or a broken dam cause a sudden rise in the level of a stream. Urban areas are especially prone to flash flooding with the impermeable surfaces not allowing the water to seep into the ground causing significant standing and moving water hazards.
Here's a list of safety tips to prepare for the inevitable flood:
Before a flood:
- Keep alert for signs of heavy rain
- Know where high ground is and how you will get there quickly
- Plan an evacuation route
- Have emergency supplies (batteries, portable radio, food and water)
- Do not park or establish bivouac adjacent to streams or at the base of a hill
- If in a residence fill bathtubs, sinks and jugs with clean water
- Move valuable household possessions to upper floors if possible
- If living off base know where the evacuation assembly area is on the closest U.S. Military installation
During a flood:
- If outside, move to high ground immediately
- Don't cross flooded streams
- If your vehicle stalls during a stream crossing then abandon it and move to higher ground
- Listen to weather bulletins on AFN radio or AFN 360
- If in a residence turn off electricity and gas
- Assemble emergency supplies, clothing and critical documents
- If instructed to evacuate do so quickly to high ground and if possible, to the closest U.S. Military installation
- Avoid already flooded and high velocity water flow areas. Do not attempt to cross a flowing stream on foot if water is above your knees
- Do not attempt to drive through flooded areas as the roadbed may have washed out underneath you
- Avoid heavy floating objects including cars and other heavy debris. Like an iceberg most of it will be under water and will injure you if it hits you
For more information on what to do in the event of a flood check with your local garrison safety office or visit the Center for Disease Control website at https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/floods/readiness.html.