Flood Safety Tips
In August, Hurricane Harvey dumped an estimated 27 trillion gallons of water across Texas and Louisiana which caused damage to over 200,000 homes. The economic losses are upwards of $180 billion. Unfortunately, flooding is not something that only coastal cities have to deal with. Flooding can occur for a variety of reasons and at any time, so it is best to be knowledgeable and prepared in case a flooding event happens in your area.
Stay Safe During a Flood with These Tips
- Put the safety of you and your family members above all else. Items can be replaced, you cannot. Evacuate when necessary, stay with friends or in a shelter, and avoid entering flood waters whenever possible.
- Prepare for potential flooding during a storm by creating an emergency kit,
- securing your home, moving all essential items to an upper level, disconnecting electrical equipment, and turning off utilities.
- Do not walk through moving water that is more than 6 inches high. Half a foot of moving water is enough to make you fall. You should also not drive into flooded areas, as flood waters can rise quickly.
- Do not enter any flooded areas before the electricity has been turned off, and do not attempt to use any electronic devices.
- Even if flood waters appear clear they may be contaminated. During a flood the water can be a combination of river and lake water, rain, runoff, or even backed up sewers. Avoid ingesting any flood water at all costs and try to prevent skin contact, especially if you have any open wounds.
- Avoid cross contaminating clean rooms by removing any items of clothing that may have come into contact with flood water prior to entering the undamaged rooms in your home.
- If you do have to walk into water use rubber boots for any areas that are below knee level. They will protect you from contaminants and electric shocks. If possible, avoid walking through water that is above knee level unless you are wearing waders – chest high, water proof pants attached to rubber boots. Use rubber gloves when handling any items that have been contaminated by flood water.
- Take pictures of the damage in your home, and share them with your insurance agent.
- Avoid using the water supply until it has been deemed safe by your city. Boil if necessary.
- Use your cell phone sparingly, and charge at every opportunity.
“Do it yourself” cleaning after a water damage can be difficult to accomplish, especially if stores are closed or if they are sold out of equipment. Wet walls can take a long time to dry, particularly if the insulation has been soaked through, and mold can grow within 24 hours. In a flooding event you need professionals like the ones at SERVPRO of Park Cities. Our employees have the knowledge and experience to quickly restore your home to make it “Like it never even happened.” If you experience a flood damage, call us at 214-522-3000.