What Should be Your Immediate Response to a Flood?

RSS Author RSS     Views:N/A
Bookmark and Share          Republish
Flooding in the home is one of the most devastating things that can happen to a homeowner. Following a flood, your belongings will be dirty, damaged, and soaked with contaminated water. It can be tough facing the clean up and dealing with the aftermath.

Immediately following a flood, there are a few things you can do to prevent further damage and avoid danger. Regardless of whether you are home or not, avoid traveling roads that are covered in standing water. Even without barricades, travel slowly and cautiously. If you are trying to get home, use alternate routes or be patient.

If you are in a location where you must walk or drive in flooded areas to reach safety, travel on firm ground. Moving water could cause you to lose your balance and standing water may have an electrical charge. Even in familiar areas, be aware of the shift in ground that may occur during flooding. The water can erode areas that were previously stable, or it can create slippery conditions. Abide by the general rule that if you doubt the safety of an action or path, avoid it.

As you work through the clean up, remember to put safety ahead of everything else. If you are dealing with standing water, turn off the electricity at the main fuse box. When conditions in your home are drier, you can restore the power. A lot of people try to handle the clean up following a flood on their own, but that can lead to further problems. The water that entered your home was probably contaminated and your belongings will need to be disinfected before they can be safely used. It is also a good idea to call in the professionals to dry the area more quickly. The longer materials are wet, the greater likelihood mold and mildew will develop.

Once you are home and dealing with the aftermath of the flooding, make an effort to take care of yourself. The weeks following a natural disaster can be even more stressful than the event itself. Be sure you get plenty of rest and eat well. Create a schedule and only tackle a reasonable amount of work each day. Allow professionals to help you. The experts can help unburden you and your family and speed the time it takes to get your environment restored.

Once the initial clean phase has passed, and your home is safe, you will want to concentrate on restoring what can be restored. Professional expertise can be essential to help save photos, family heirlooms, and treasured keepsakes. Air drying is usually best, but some companies have technology that will speed the process and make it more efficient. Expose items to natural air, but avoid direct sunlight because it can cause fading.

Take some time to prioritize what should be saved. Photos are important and can be cleaned and dried with relative ease. They may not be in perfect condition, but your memories will be intact. If it turns out you are not able to get to everything at once, store them in containers that are open and ventilated. Be sure things are fairly dry before storing them.

It is also important to be careful and gentle with your belongings. If you feel the professional cleaning team you are working with is not treating your items respectfully, find a different company. Do not be afraid to speak up. Their job is to restore you home to the way it was before the disaster, and they should be professional in their services. As it is often put, "If you do it right, you can help a lot. If you do it wrong, you can have problems." The care taken with your items during the initial phase may mean the difference between saving them and having them destroyed.

Gary Trevano is a writer for Yodle, a business directory and online advertising company. Find Your Guide to Dealing With Home Emergencies or more Home Care articles at the Yodle Consumer Guide, The Yodler. Also check out What Should be Your Immediate Response to a Flood?

Report this article

Bookmark and Share

Ask a Question about this Article