The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) National
Weather Service (NWS) in Las Vegas is bringing a comprehensive flash flood
safety campaign to its county warning area by using the agency's national
slogan, Turn Around, Don't Drown™ (TADD). The TADD campaign is designed
to enhance public awareness of the dangers of driving or walking into flooded
As part of the TADD campaign, Lowe's Home Improvement-sponsored NASCAR
driver Kyle Busch teamed with the NWS and Las Vegas' KVVU Fox5 News to
shoot a TADD public service announcement which will be seen throughout
the region this summer.
"Kyle Busch, a Las Vegas native, has been the top-finishing rookie in
12 out of 13 NASCAR events this year. When we were designing this safety
campaign, we decided to start with the hometown angle, and we are grateful
for Kyle's time as well as Lowe's endorsement to help us prepare the public
service announcement," said Warning Coordination Meteorologist Andy Baileyat
the NWS Weather Forecast Office in Las Vegas.
In the PSA, Busch says, "Some people say driving a race car can be risky,
but there's one risk I'd never take on the road. I'd never try to drive
my car through flood waters." Busch goes on to state, "If you encounter
a flooded roadway, do like the National Weather says and turn around, don't
The local campaign, slated to run June 26-30, will include 30-second TV
and radio spots for use by local media. In addition to the public service
announcement, the Las Vegas TADD campaign will also feature 150,000 flash
flood safety flash cards, provided by the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes
(FLASH), which will be distributed by area new car dealers. Anderson Dairy
will also include flash flood safety information on more than 100,000 milk
cartons this summer.
The recently completed PSA is generic enough to be used at NWS offices
in many locations across the country. As a result, broadcast quality copies
have been made available to the six NWS regional headquarters for them
to duplicate and distribute to their field offices as they see fit.
"We hope the Las Vegas public service announcement will help us with the
national TADDcampaign for future years," said Bailey. "With the growing
popularity of NASCAR as a spectator sport, we want to carry the flash flood
awareness message to as many people as possible."
The national campaign is a joint effort by NOAA'sNWS and FLASH.
National TADD program statistics cite thirty-year NWS storm data records
show that 3,192 people died in floods between 1974 and 2003, an average
of 106 deaths per year. During the same period, lightning claimed 2,002
lives (67 per year), tornadoes killed 1,935 (65 per year) and hurricanes
took 421 people (14 per year). The records also indicate 80 percent of
the flooding deaths resulted when people drove or walked into moving water.
"It only takes 6 inches of moving water to sweep someone off their feet
and 24 inches to float most vehicles," said Kim Runk, Meteorologist in
Charge, at the NWS Service in Las Vegas. "People who walk or drive into
moving water not only risk their own lives, but also the lives of those
who try to rescue them."
Bailey added, "Turn Around, Don't Drown" highlights the number one flash
flood safety rule. If people remember and follow this single rule, it will
make a huge difference. Through accurate and timely NWS warnings and our
aggressive public education efforts, we are working to make swift water
rescues and flood related deaths a thing of past in our area."