Storm Flood Tips
Flood Tips and Action Steps
After a Flood
Safety First (For businesses and home owners)
- Account that all employees or family members are safe by establishing evacuation plans in advance, identifying areas outside the building that are designated meeting places. Assign select individuals to keep a list of their assigned team's names and contact numbers in order to account for their whereabouts.
- If water enters the building and evacuation becomes impossible, move to an upper floor, and wait for rescuers.
- While evacuating, avoid attempting to drive through floods or rising water, nearly half of all flash flood fatalities are auto-related.
- Do not touch electrical equipment if you are wet or standing in water.
- Do not walk through moving water. Even six inches of moving water can make you fall.
- Use no open flames (there may be gas escaping from ruptured mains.)
- Avoid floodwaters. Water may be contaminated by oil, gasoline or raw sewage. Water may also be electrically charged. If the water has entered the structure through the flooding of a creek, stream or river, or if it has filtered through insulation during its intrusion, it is considered to be black water and could be hazardous to your health. Avoid contact with contaminated items as much as possible.
- Stay out of any building if it is surrounded by floodwaters.
- Listen for news reports to learn if the community's water supply is safe to drink.
- Return only when authorities indicate it is safe.
Secure the Property
- Contact local emergency officials.
- Secure main entrances to building.
- Alert security company and Alarm company of the situation.
Stabilize the Property
- Open basement or low-level windows to equalize water pressure on the building's foundation and walls.
- Begin water damage mitigation steps only if local emergency officials deem the structure safe to enter.
- Notify your insurance agent or Risk Manager to determine insurance policy guidelines and steps to take.
- Take the greatest caution while entering your home, and wear sturdy shoes and protective clothing when dealing with flooded areas. Wear protective clothing at all times.
- Take photos or video to record conditions of collections and structure. Make sure images clearly record damage.
- Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping and blotting.
- Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removing lamps and tabletop items.
- Remove and prop up wet upholstery cushions for even drying.
- Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.
- Remove any paintings, art objects, documents and other sensitive materials to a safe, dry place.
- Place fans at 45-degree angles to walls and move large furniture away from walls to create the best air circulation.
- Appoint a media liaison to report conditions and need for help/volunteers. You may have to limit access to collections.
- Do not enter rooms with standing water where electrical shock hazards may exist.
- Do not attempt to operate any electrical equipment while standing in wet or damp locations.
- Do not leave books, newspapers, magazines or other colored items on wet carpets or floors to cause staining.
- Do not leave oriental rugs or other colored rugs on wet wall-to-wall carpets to cause staining.
- Do no use TVs or other appliances while standing on wet carpets or floors, especially not on wet concrete floors.
- Do no turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet or enter rooms where ceilings are sagging from retained water.
- Do not turn on heat unless required for human comfort.
- Do not move objects or collections without documenting their condition.
- Throw away all foods - even canned goods - that have come into contact with flood waters.
- If your home has a crawlspace, be aware excess moisture in this area can often foster mold growth.