Flood Do's and Don'ts

Restoration & Repair    |   Flood

  • Turn off electricity at the main fuse box if necessary.
  • Do not turn electricity back on if you smell gas or if the electric system has been flooded.
  • Wear sturdy work boots and gloves.
  • Do not handle electrical equipment in wet areas.
  • Upon reentering the site, watch for structural damage. Ceilings and roofs may be subject to collapse.
  • Use flashlights, not lanterns, candles or matches, to check buildings containing natural gas, propane, or gasoline.
  • Clean and disinfect everything that was touched by flood waters and throw out any such foodstuffs.
  • Do not use TV's or other appliances while standing on wet carpet or floors, especially not on wet concrete floors
  • Do not turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet, and keep out of rooms where ceilings are sagging from retained water
  • Limit contact with areas and items affected by sewage water.
  • Listen for news reports to learn whether the community's water supply is safe to drink.
  • Avoid floodwaters; water may be contaminated by oil, gasoline, or raw sewage. Water may also be electrically charged from underground or downed power lines.
  • Avoid moving water.
  • Be aware of areas where floodwaters have receded. Roads may have weakened and could collapse under the weight of a car.
  • Stay away from downed power lines, and report them to the power company.
  • Return home only when authorities indicate it is safe
  • Stay out of any building if it is surrounded by floodwaters.
  • Use extreme caution when entering buildings; there may be hidden damage, particularly in foundations.
  • Service damaged septic tanks, cesspools, pits, and leaching systems as soon as possible. Damaged sewage systems are serious health hazards.
  • Clean and disinfect everything that got wet. Mud left from floodwater can contain sewage and chemicals.

Do...

  • Remove all excess water by mopping or blotting - use clean white towels for blotting. Several inches of water should be pumped out or extracted immediately.
  • Circulate air for maximum drying: open windows for air exchange or operate air conditioner.
  • Pierce small holes in sagging ceilings to release trapped water.
  • Clear items from atop wooden furniture and wipe off any moisture.
  • Remove wet upholstery cushions and prop them up in order to dry all surfaces.
  • Separate wet clothing to avoid dye transfer.
  • Open drawers and cabinet doors for complete drying of space within.
  • Remove valuable oil paintings and art objects to a safe place.
  • Open suitcases and luggage to dry in sunlight if possible.
  • Make sure all carpeting is dried before rolling it up in order to retain color quality.

Do Not...

  • Leave wet fabrics in place; dry as soon as possible. Furs and leather goods need to be hung separately and dried at room temperature.
  • Leave books, magazines or other colored items on wet carpets or floors.
  • Use your household vacuum to remove water.
  • Leave furniture directly on wet carpeting - place aluminum foil, china saucers or wood blocks underneath furniture legs.
  • Leave Orientals or other colored rugs on wet wall-to-wall carpeting - remove them until wall-to-wall is fully dried.
  • Attempt to clean upholstery or Oriental rugs with ordinary household cleaners.
  • Begin to repair or repaint damaged building surfaces until you are certain they are completely dry.

Why Flood Coverage

Protect Yourself with Flood Insurance

Just a few inches of water from a flood can cause tens of thousands of dollars in damage. Over the past 10 years, the average flood claim has amounted to over $33,000. Flood insurance is the best way to protect yourself from devastating financial loss.

Flood insurance is available to homeowners, renters, condo owners/renters, and commercial owners/renters. Costs vary depending on how much insurance is purchased, what it covers, and the property's flood risk.

All policy forms provide coverage for buildings and contents. However, you might want to discuss insuring personal property with your agent, since contents coverage is optional. Typically, there's a 30-day waiting period-from date of purchase-before your policy goes into effect. That means now is the best time to buy flood insurance.

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