Nobody can stop a disaster that is as fearsome as a flood. Do you know floods damage more properties than any other natural disaster? According to the recent report, about $34 billion property damages are caused due to floods.
What would you do if floods ever hit your area? Have you prepared yourself for the flood? What to do before, during, and after the floods? And when to call a flood cleanup company? Here are some of the flood preparedness and safety tips to let to stay safe during floods:
What to do Before a Flood?
It is rightly said that “Prevention is better than cure.” It is always great to look into the things that you can do to save you and your family from this natural calamity. Here is the list of to-dos to know in order to reduce the flood damage:
- If you have below-grade floors, consider installing a sump pump.
- To prevent sewer lines from backing up, install standpipes or backflow valves.
- Put all the necessary documents and any irreplaceable family items somewhere other than the basement.
- Consider landscaping with plants and vegetation that resist soil erosion.
- Elevate your dryer, washer, oil tank, water heater, electrical wiring and furnace on the concrete blocks. If you can’t raise an item, anchor it, and protect it with a floodwall or shield.
- It is always advisable to install a flood-detection device in your basement that rings an alarm or calls your phone if it senses water.
What to do During a Flood?
Natural disasters can be scary, but the most important thing is to stay calm, act smartly, and keep your family safe. Here are the things that you need to keep in mind during the floods:
- Monitor your surroundings and turn off utilities at the main power switch.
- Do not walk through moving water. If it is 6 inches or 15 centimeters of moving water, you can fall.
- In case you need to walk in water, wherever possible, walk with the stick and especially where the water is not moving. You can use a stick to check the firmness of the ground in front of you.
- If you’re in your car and the water starts to rise quickly, abandon it and move to higher ground.
- Do not drive into flooded areas.
- Do not touch any electrical equipment if you are standing in water or are wet.
- Stay away from downed power lines.
- Move any important papers or things to upper floors or upper shelves.
- Be cautious at night; it is much harder to recognize flood dangers.
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What to do After a Flood if you don’t hire a Flood Cleanup company?
Wait until the emergency officials give the permission and until they indicate that it is safe to return. Once you are back, keep a check on the following points:
- Check for any structural damage before going inside.
- Learn whether the community’s water supply is safe to drink or not.
- If it’s dark, use a flashlight. Do not use match sticks, a candle or a lighter.
- Avoid walking in floodwaters. The water may be contaminated by oil, raw sewage, or gasoline. Water may also be electrically charged from downed power lines, so do not attempt to clean it yourself.
- Don’t turn your power on until an expert electrician has examined your system.
- Let the officials know about the damaged septic tanks, cesspools, pits, and leaching systems as soon as possible. The damaged sewage systems cause severe health hazards.
- Take a photograph of the damage, which can help get your insurance claim started sooner.
- Report your claim to your flood insurance agent as early as possible.
- Get your house inspected by a flood cleanup company in order to clean and disinfect everything that got wet.
- Mold can be hazardous. Do not attempt to clean it yourself. Consider taking the help of flood damage restoration company that specializes in the post-flood cleanup.
- It is essential to know that not only the initial damage caused by a flood can be the risk, but the standing floodwater can also bring chemical hazards, spread infectious diseases, and cause injuries. Hence, it is always recommended to consult a flood cleanup company after the floods.
- Also, standard homeowners insurance doesn’t generally cover damage caused by a flood. So, it’s a great idea of protecting yourself with a flood insurance policy.
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Stay Safe! Stay Healthy!