Seven Home Safety Tips for After a Flood

after a flood

If flooding strikes your home, you have a lot to think about and deal with after the water stops. One of the things that should be a top priority, however, is safety. Every year, people who survive an initial flood event are injured or sometimes killed by hazards present in the aftermath. To help reduce those statistics, here are seven post-flood safety tips to keep in mind 

  • Don’t go home until it’s safe. If you were ordered to evacuate before the flood, don’t return to the house until an all-clear has been issued by local authorities.
  • Be aware of electrical hazards. Electrocution is among the most common causes of fatalities after a flood. Even if utility power is off, it may be restored at any time without warning. If utility power is still on, don’t enter flooded rooms inside the house until electricity is shut off at the main electrical panel. If the panel is located in a flooded area of the house, call an electrician to disconnect the electricity outside.
  • Ventilate the premises. If the house has been closed up during flooding, open doors and windows to allow fresh air to circulate for at least an hour before spending extended time inside. 
  • Trust your nose. If you notice the pungent odor of natural gas, leave the house immediately and call the gas company to turn it off at the main valve.
  • Watch out for structural hazards. Saturated drywall is structurally unsound and may collapse suddenly. Stay out of rooms where ceilings are sagging and stand clear of walls that appear to be soaked and/or deformed.  
  • Avoid direct contact with water. Outdoor floodwater from sources such as an overflowing river or flash flood may contain toxins such as chemicals and raw sewage. Water from an indoor source like a ruptured pipe is considered contaminated if it has been present for more than 48 hours.  
  • Wear protective gear. Basic attire inside a house after flooding includes eye protection (goggles), face mask rated N95 or higher, rubber gloves, and waterproof boots. A hard hat is also advisable if available.

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