Ten Things To Never Do After A Flood
Floods can occur any time, and in any location, causing billions of dollars in damage to life and property every year. They are the most expensive natural disasters found anywhere in the world, capable of causing loss of housing or business, crop failure, and death. With that vividly in mind, we offer our top ten things to avoid doing in the aftermath of a flood.
1) Walking through flood waters. This is dangerous for a number of reasons, mainly that flood waters may be moving at a brisk pace. You could be knocked down and swept away before you have time to react. The water may also contain different chemicals that are physically harmful, and bacteria and other microorganisms may cause disease and infection.
2) Driving in flood waters. It only takes about a foot and a half of water to float a car, which means a foot and a half of moving water can sweep a vehicle away in short order. The majority of flood related deaths are attributed to folks becoming trapped in their vehicles.
3) Allowing insurance to expire. Flood insurance can provide protection from flood damage. Unfortunately, people all too often assume that they do not need such coverage and fail to take action until it is too late.
4) Not listening to warnings. Every body of water has its own unique flood stage. When warnings are posted, you should listen and be prepared to respond accordingly. Many people assume that they are out of reach of flood waters, and failure to prepare could mean disaster.
5) Not understanding the dangers of mold. Mold is the most common byproduct of any sort of water damage. Flooding takes this threat to a much grander scale. Begin cleanup as soon as possible after the waters have receded.
6) Using electricity following a flood. Electricity and water do not mix, and it is inadvisable to stand in water while lines might still be active. Make sure the power is shut off at the source, even if it has already been knocked out by the flood.
7) Handling animals after a flood. Many animals either seek shelter indoors or may be swept into your home by flood waters. Snakes, rodents, and other stray animals can cause harmful bites which may result in infection or disease. Disease carrying insects are also a large problem following flooding.
8) Not wearing protective gear. When working in flooded out areas, always wear a breathing mask, long sleeves, pants, and steel toed boots. Chemicals and mold can present serious health threats.
9) Driving on previously flooded roads or bridges. Floods can damage roads and render bridges unsafe. Make sure your travel path has been approved by the proper officials.
10) Foregoing a home inspection. All flooded homes should be inspected for unseen damage. Many structural problems may not always be apparent.