Flooding is often unpredictable. Flood waters strike fast and often recede quite quickly as well. Flood water is one of the primary causes of water damage to a home. However, before you start dealing with that, it’s important to arm yourself with necessary knowledge about what to do after a flood.
When flood waters recede, the damage left behind can be devastating and present many dangers. Images of flood destruction depict destroyed homes and buildings, damaged possessions, and decimated roadways. However, what you can’t see can be just as dangerous. Floodwaters often become contaminated with sewage or chemicals. Gas leaks and live power lines can be deadly, but are not obvious at first glance.
So today, we discuss tips from the National Weather Service concerning what should be done after flooding has receded.
Be Hungry For Information
- Stay tuned to your local news for updated information on road conditions. Ensure water is safe to drink, cook or clean with after a flood. Oftentimes, a “boil water” order is put in place following a flood. So it is important to be aware if any such order is given out for your continued health.
- Check with utility companies to find out when electricity or gas services may be restored.
- Carbon monoxide poisoning is one of the leading causes of death after storms when areas are dealing with power outages. Never use a portable generator inside your home or garage. Review generator safety to avoid any incidents.
Avoid Flood Waters As Much As Possible
- Standing water hides many dangers including toxins and chemicals. There may be debris under the water and the road surface may have been compromised.
- If it is likely your home will flood, don’t wait to be ordered to leave; evacuate yourself! Make alternative plans for a place to stay. If you have pets, take them with you or make arrangements to board them at a facility well away from the flooding danger.
Keep Away From Disaster Areas
- Do not visit disaster areas. Yes, even if your home is in one. Your presence may hamper rescue and other emergency operations.
- Pay attention to road closure or other cautionary signs put in place for your safety. If you’re worried about your home, your safety comes first–it can wait.
Get A Hold Of Family Members
- Let your family and close friends know that you’re okay so they can help spread the word. Register with or search the American Red Cross’s Safe and Well listings.
Wait For An “All Clear” Signal From Authorities
- Do not enter a flood damaged home or building until you’re given the all clear by authorities.
- If you choose to enter a flood damaged building, be extremely careful. Water can compromise the structural integrity and its foundation.
- Make sure the electrical system has been turned off, otherwise contact the power company or a qualified electrician.
- Contact your insurance agent as soon as possible to discuss the damage done to your property.
- If you have a home generator, be sure to follow proper safety procedures for use.