What Should I Do if a Storm Floods My Home?
Every year several parts of the country experience flooding due to severe rain and tropical storms. If this happens to you there are several steps that are recommend by the CDC and industry professionals that you should take to keep you safe.
- Stop the water source if possible. If the flooding is caused by a burst pipe or a broken appliance, turn off the water supply to your house. If the flooding is due to natural causes, such as heavy rain or river overflow, you may need to wait until the water level recedes.
- Put on protective gear before entering your home. The floodwater may be contaminated with sewage, chemicals, or debris that can harm your health. Wear rubber boots, gloves, goggles, and a mask.
- Document the flood damage for insurance purposes. Take photos and videos of your home and belongings before you start cleaning up. Make a list of everything that was damaged or lost and keep receipts for any repairs or replacements.
- Use safe water for drinking, cooking, washing, and cleaning. Floodwater may be polluted with bacteria, viruses, parasites, or chemicals that can make you sick. Boil tap water before using it or use bottled water if available.
- Throw away unsafe food that may have been exposed to floodwater or spoiled due to power outage. This includes food in cans, jars, boxes, bags, or containers that have been damaged or opened; perishable food such as meat, dairy products, eggs; and food that has an unusual odor, color, or texture.
- Clean and dry your home as soon as possible to prevent mold growth and further damage. Contact SERVPRO to remove and discard any drywall, insulation, carpeting, mattresses, pillows, stuffed toys, or other porous materials that were contaminated with floodwater or sewage. Use fans, dehumidifiers, or air conditioners to speed up the drying process. Disinfect all surfaces with antimicrobials.