Safety tips after a flood
Floods are one of the most dangerous and unpredictable types of weather disaster. Flood waters can arrive in a matter of minutes, and without warning. Almost every region of the U.S. is susceptible to flooding and the damage associated with it.
Flood water can cause considerable damage to homes. It can level a foundation, ruin expensive appliances and lead to mold growth. Navigating through flood water is dangerous because it contains bacteria and parasites, raw sewage, gasoline and oil.
Consider the following safety tips:
- If your home is surrounded by flood water, you should make every attempt to escape. Standing water can cause the foundation of a home or building to collapse.
- Avoid flood water, especially if it’s moving. As little as 6 inches of moving water can knock a person to the ground. If you have to make your way through, wear a flotation device and use a walking stick to test the water’s depth before you take each step.
- Don’t attempt to drive your car through flood water. One foot of moving water can move a small car, and 2 feet of rushing water can move a large SUV.
- Wait for local authorities to give the all clear before returning home.
- Don’t attempt to move or repair any electrical appliances that are in standing water. Turn off electricity at the main breaker before working in a flooded home.
- Mold can begin to form in as little as 24 hours so you want to start cleaning and drying out your home as soon as possible.
- If any natural gas consuming appliances were flooded during the storm, do not attempt to relight the pilot light yourself. Flood water can damage safety features built in to these appliances. Contact a plumber or HVAC technician to relight the pilot light.
- Contact your insurance agent to report any flood damage.