What To Do When Flooding Strikes
weekly news reports of flooding across the Midwest and southern Midwest,
flooding has become a force to be reckoned with, even more so than normal, in
2011. Floods are already the single most
common and destructive natural disaster in the United States, and many
communities are witnessing that firsthand as this is written.
While it is
impossible to prevent a flood, there are some steps you can take to at least
minimize the damage, as well as protecting yourself and your family when
returning home following a flood event.
local emergency management office and ask how flood warnings are issued, under
what circumstances, and the best way for you to respond. They can also tell you if your home is
located on or near a flood plain or any other location that may be at risk.
stash of food that is not dependent on refrigeration. Keep a few packs of unopened bottled water
handy. Remember that power supplies such
as electricity and water may be disrupted so you want to have resources
prepared for at least several days.
portable, battery powered radio (with fresh batteries and extra batteries)
handy so that you can remain informed and up to date on rapidly changing
Keep a well-stocked
first aid kit available as well.
Injuries related to flooding may require immediate treatment.
Shut off all
power to your property. Electricity and
water do not mix.
can move to a higher level in your home, move.
This is especially true for appliances that are powered by
If you find
yourself caught in a flood, do not attempt to drive through flood waters. Depth can be deceiving and what looks like a
stream crossing a road may disguise the fact that the road is not there
anymore. It only takes a couple of feet
of moving water to float a car and sweep it away. People die every year trying to navigate
through flooded streets.
Watch out for
any downed electrical wires, and report them to authorities at once. Do not attempt to approach or move them.
Do not try to
cross flood waters on foot or swim through them. It only takes six inches of moving water to
knock a grown man off his feet, and flood water currents can rival the strength
of any ocean riptide.
Do not return
to your home until the waters have receded and the all clear given by local
emergency management. Do not enter your
home if there is still flood water standing.
Do not drink
the water from your taps or eat any food that has been in contact with flood
waters. There may be contaminants
present that could pose a serious health risk.
Make sure all
electrical and HVAC systems are inspected by qualified technicians before
turning them back on. Same goes for
electrical appliances or other home electronics.
And of course
you should contact your local, IICRC certified water damage company to handle
all of your water damage repair and restoration needs. IICRC companies will be available 24/7 and
able to have a technician out to your property within the hour to assess the flood damage and begin the cleanup process.
They can also work with your insurance adjuster to make sure everything
is properly covered and paid for.
2011 has graphically
demonstrated that floods can occur anywhere, and at any time, and it is important
to be properly prepared. Don’t be caught
unawares….contact your local IICRC certified company today.
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