What to Do Following a Flood

Emergency Sandbags Used for Flood ProtectionEach year, floods cause billions of dollars in damages to homes, businesses and communities. From crop damages to basement flooding, total destruction of buildings and loss of important belongings, the effects of a flood can be long-lasting and overwhelming.  If your home or property has been damaged by flooding, there are steps that you can take right away and in the coming days to ensure safety and security.

What to Do During a Flood

Natural disasters and flooding can happen even in areas that aren’t typically impacted by extreme weather. Flash floods occur very quickly and generally do not leave time for preparation. Low-lying areas will flood first, so it is critical that you move to higher ground immediately. Homeowners often use sandbags to protect their property as they serves as a barrier between the water and foundations.

If you must move through the water, use extreme caution and avoid water that is moving, fallen power lines and trees. Driving in flooded areas is not advised, as water can quickly rise and flood the car or even carry it away. If your car floods, abandon it immediately and move to high ground.

What to Do Following a Flood

The dangers associated with flooding do not end once the flood stops. Homeowners and businesses who used emergency sandbags should take caution as they can retain water for a period of time. Flood waters are often contaminated with gasoline, oil, chemicals, sewage and various other hazardous elements that could cause infection and illness.  Read How to Correctly Dispose Sandbags After Flooding for more information on the removal of sandbags.

Food should be examined before eating to ensure that it has not come into contact with with flood waters. Additionally, drink bottled water or filtered water only.

If your home or business is covered by flood insurance, be sure to take pictures and document items that were lost or damaged to ease the process of filing a claim. Draining water and removing wet items as well as using a dehumidifier will significantly reduce the risk of mold, which is also hazardous to health. Clean the walls, carpets and thoroughly wash or dispose of clothing and materials that have been contaminated by flood waters.

Floods can often knock down electrical lines and cause a loss of power. Even without power, it is critical to turn off all electricity from the primary breaker box to avoid the risk of electrical shock. Use extreme caution and do not plug in electrical gadgets until you are certain that your home or business is completely dry and you are not putting yourself or someone you love at risk of electrocution.

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This entry was posted on Monday, November 12th, 2012 at 9:16 am and is filed under Flood Protection, NYP-Corp News, Sandbags.

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