Around 15 million American homes are at risk of getting flooded. Knowing what to do after a house flood will help you stay safe.
As of 2020, the amount of U.S. homes at risk for flood is 70% higher than FEMA initially estimated. Now, it’s more important than ever to prepare for a flood’s aftermath.
Being prepared makes a bigger difference than anything else will. The quicker you take care of business, the sooner your life will return to normal.
Here are five critical steps to take after a flood.
1. Safety First
Always fix or seal up the flooding water source. For example, if there’s a pipe burst in your home, turn off your water supply. Of course, you’re able to skip this step if the flood is natural.
If you haven’t already, turn off your electricity whenever your home is flooded. If the fuse box is inaccessible due to water, get an electrician’s help.
Immediately evacuate your home if you have a pipe burst in your home or a sewage leak Find a dry, safe place outside to gather with other household members. Keep in mind that natural floods alone force 75,000 Americans out of homes each year.
Then locate and collect all of your family members and/or household members. If necessary, go to a neighbor’s or friend’s house temporarily until help arrives.
3. Get Help
Arrange the accommodations you’ll need in the meantime after evacuation. If the flood is severe enough, this includes seeking shelter. Find temporary shelter by watching the news or asking local authorities if necessary.
Always call your homeowner’s insurance ASAP whenever your home gets flooded. It’ll expedite the restoration and recovery process, which takes a while for severely damaged homes. Homeowner’s insurance often helps out in unpreventable instances such as a water heater leak.
You’ll eventually need legal help with your property insurance claim. If you want to connect with high-quality property damage lawyers, just click here.
4. Document, Document, Document!
Document all of the damage that resulted from the flood. That means everything from all home water damage to damaged belongings.
Learning the signs of water damage will guide your assessment. Some water damage signs include water rings, warping, cracked tiles, discoloration, and more.
Floods also cause structural damage in places you can’t see. The water could warp, crack, or loosen your home’s foundation. If you suspect the presence of structural damage, get it professionally inspected before returning home.
5. Clean Up and Prevent Mold
Once an adjuster authorizes you to proceed, start the cleaning process. Then you must clean up any remaining standing water and determine which belongings are salvageable.
Keep the flooded space as dry as humanly possible and use a bleach solution to keep it sanitary.
Always wear protective clothing like rubber boots and gloves when cleaning up mold. Nonetheless, you’ll need more protective clothing if there’s sewage in the water.
A House Flood is No Match for You
Keep a first-aid kit ready in an accessible location. It’ll help out in case you or someone else gets hurt during a house flood.
Knowing your local area helps you assess your home’s flood risk. The closer it is to any body of water, the higher your flood risk is.
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