After the Flood

  • Listen to the radio or TV for instructions from local officials.
  • Wait until an area has been declared safe before entering it. Be careful driving, since roads may be damaged and power lines may be down.
  • Before entering a building, check for structural damage. Turn off any outside gas lines at the meter or tank. Let the building air out to remove foul odors or escaping gas.
  • Upon entering the building, use a battery-powered flashlight. DO NOT use an open flame as a source of light. Gas may be trapped inside.
  • When inspecting the building, wear rubber boots and gloves.
  • Watch for electrical shorts and live wires before making certain the main power switch is off.
  • DO NOT turn on electrical appliances until an electrician has checked the system and appliances.
  • Throw out any medicine or food that has had contact with flood waters.
  • If the public water system is declared 'unsafe' by health officials, water for drinking and cooking should be boiled vigorously for 10 minutes.
  • Shovel out mud with special attention to cleaning heating and plumbing systems.
  • Flooded basements should be drained and cleaned as soon as possible. Structural damage can occur if drained too quickly. When surrounding waters have subsided, begin draining the basement in stages, about 1/3 of the water volume each day.