How to Stay Safe During a Flood

Depending on the sea level of where you live and other topographical conditions, it could be imperative that you know how to handle a dangerous situation from flooding. Along with the immediate damage, there are numerous other long-term problems that arise from a flood affecting your property. Remember to never drive through flooding areas and heed these tips on recovering from flood damage.

What to do in case of a flood

If you experience a flood warning, the first thing to do is try to gather as much information as possible about the situation. Listen for news updates on rising water levels or further instructions for residents in your neighborhood. Keep indoors and prepare an emergency medical kit along with supplies for at least three whole days. Food, water, flashlights and power cells are some of the things that you should include in your set of supplies. Bring in your waste cans and any other possessions that may be washed away by severe water movement. It may also be wise to turn off all your gas and power in case of infrastructure damage, especially if you must evacuate your house. Make sure not to stay in low areas and if possible move you and your family to the top of a hill. The following list may be helpful:

Prepare Your Home:

  • Collect emergency supplies
  • Listen to emergency updates and follow any instructions
  • Get your immunization records and store them in a waterproof holder
  • Prepare and store emergency water and food to last for a minimum of three days
  • Outdoor possessions like grills and lawn furniture should be taken in or tied down securely
  • In case of evacuation, ensure that the primary power switch, gas valve, and all utilities are turned off.
  • Get away from areas prone to flooding like washes, low spots, and canyons

Damages from the aftermath of flooding

A flood always leaves dangerous results. Always practice safe driving when moving through flooded areas as just half a foot of water can cause a vehicle to be swept away. Never take the risk of having your car caught in flood waters as it could cost you your life. Water from the flood will have traveled a long distance and picked up an extreme amount of debris. Never treat flood water as potable water and never bathe in it due to risk of disease or illness from contaminants. Only use bottled water. If you must use water that may be unsafe you drink, always boil it before using for cleaning or anything else. Much of your food will have been ruined from the water, keep yourself safe from a crippling illness by playing it safe and disposing of any food that isn’t completely untouched. Any generators or gas powered machines should be operated at a safe distance to prevent carbon-monoxide poisoning.

Further consequences of flooding

Now that the water has stopped rising, it’s likely become stagnant all throughout the area. With the sun constantly heating each exposed pool of water that pervades flooded areas, rampant disease will follow. Flood water also picks up whatever it has passed through, meaning dangerous chemicals may have been picked up during the action. For this reason, trash all items in your house that came in contact with water. All surfaces that you think may be able to be salvaged should be sterilized with a harsh cleaning.

Keep Yourself Safe:

  • Do not drive through standing water or flooded places.
  • Avoid drinking or using flood water
  • Only go back to your home after an evacuation after your local authorities have confirmed that it’s safe
  • Find out from the water advisory, and local authorizes if the water is okay for use
  • Get rid of any water or food that the flood water came in contact with
  • Prevent poisoning from carbon monoxide (CO) when using generators
  • Sterilize all surfaces as soon as possible after the flood

Damages from mold

As the water dries, mold will form in damp places that were overlooked or unable to be cleaned. Mold can cause respiratory disease or just an unpleasant smell as well as structural damage. Mold damage is usually recognized by oddly colored patches in the wall, floor or ceiling. The best way to get proper mold treatment is by relying on a professional mold removal specialist that has experience with mold damage. The moment you notice mold in your home should be the moment you call a mold removal company to set up treatment and eliminate further problems. The longer you wait to seek mold treatment, the more damage you could be doing to your health and home. Good luck and remember to always treat safety as a top priority.

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