The sudden nature of the flood can confuse and shock because the effects it brings are dangerous, scary, and devastating. Especially it is harmful to the property. Fortunately, it is possible to prepare for such an unpleasant accident and taking some precautions to decrease possible damage.
Below you’ll find a guide prepared by technicians working at Signature Water and Fire Restoration which is divided into 3 parts of actions:
- Before the flood started;
- During the flood;
- After the flood has been stopped.
Our experience says the proper preparation before the natural floods from storms, hurricanes, and tropical heavy rains are essential for the damage minimization.
Step 1: Prepare to the Flood before It Started
When you live in the rainy area with casual storms or when you’re just of those, who prefer to play safe, the first thing to do is to ensure you made all possible precautions. Include in your to-do list the following:
- Check your insurance and add the flood coverage, if necessary. Be aware that the standard home insurance may not include this type of damage, so it is better to know for sure.
- Make the pictures of your house in usual conditions (before the damage).
- Use the security boxes for cash storage and documents, which will protect from the water damage. The things that have emotional matter can also be stored in such boxes (photos, birthday cards, and others).
- Perform regular house maintenance work: clean downspouts, free pipes from clogs, check pipeline for breaks. This will give certain assurance the water flow is efficient and chances for water to get into your house are low.
- Ensure the furnace and water heater are elevated and set at the concrete slab or block;
- Think about the waterproof system, which includes walls sealing, installation of a sump pump (regular maintenance of the sump pump), setting the water alarm system in the basement, allowing to detect the flood or leaks at the beginning stage.
- Ensure you have backflow valves installed to the sewer pipes, which prevent getting inside the house contaminated water.
- Spend some time with your family composing the escape plan. For such purposes identify the optimal escape route, places where documents and cash are stored for the emergent case escape, the way you’ll get to the car, the place where you can stay until the flood damage will be remediated. You should also think about the meeting spot, in case all the family will evacuate at different routes.
Additionally, together with cash, documents, and essentials, you should think about the emergency kit, which may include:
- water (few gallons per person);
- nonperishable food or cash equivalent based on 3 days for each family member;
- radio powered with battery and charge or extra batteries;
- first aid medicaments;
- some things to occupy you, like games, books, puzzles, or something similar.
Step 2: Action Plan When the Flood Happened
When the emergency message from the meteorological service about the upcoming storm has been received start the preparation immediately:
- turn off the water, electricity, and gas;
- elevate all sensitive equipment from the floor (propane tanks, electrical panels, and wires) to avoid their contact with water, do the same for furniture kept in the basement or outdoors – relocate it upstairs, for example to attic;
- monitor the news regarding the food and be ready to evacuate in case of emergency alerts given by authorities;
- follow your escape plan and don’t forget about emergency kit prepared in advance;
- in case the flood happened suddenly do not hesitate to get out of the dangerous area without official instruction communication. Be a careful driver and avoid puddles from flood and flooded spots, they can be dangerous.
Step 3: Getting Back To Normal Life
Even when the flood is stopped some precautions still required:
- do not harry up to return to your home until official notification from authorities will be received regarding the safety of the suffered area. be attentive to official instruction and follow communicated guidelines;
- please avoid flooded roads and standing water, which are both dangerous by deep pits, strong water flow, and contaminations respectively. The same applies to buildings surrounded by water.
- do not supply the water in the area suffered from flood until the official message from authorities regarding its safety will be received;
- ensure you have enough septic;
- perform thorough cleaning and disinfection of every corner and surfaces at your place;
- make the photos of the damaged areas for documentation and providing it to the insurance company;
- assess the overall damage and think about the reasonability of involvement in the professional cleaning company for eliminating water damage effects and restoration works. For example, Signature Water and Fire Restoration except for cleaning and disinfection provide water removal, areas drying, decreasing excessive humidity, repair and salvage different things, restore documents, and other services.
It’s almost impossible to handle flood damage by homeowners effectively without the involvement of a professional team. The humidity and moisture will remain inside of walls, floors, and furniture, which cause a lot of problems from structural damage to bacteria and mold growth.
In case you faced the flood damage, call us at +1-224-515-0100, so we can rapidly come for help!