Photo courtesy of FEMAEvery year some 200,000 Americans are driven from their homes because of floods. Returning home after the flood waters recede can be a devastating and potentially hazardous venture. Follow these sensible suggestions when returning to a home after the flood.

  • Stay away from flood waters and be sure drinking water is not contaminated. Flood waters my carry silt, raw sewage, oil or chemical waste. Wash your hands frequently with soap and disinfected water to prevent spread of disease.
  • Do not use fresh food that has come in contact with floodwaters.
  • Use flashlights – not lanterns or candles – to examine buildings. Flammables may be inside.
  • Do not handle live electrical equipment in wet areas. Electrical equipment should be checked and dried before returning to service.
  • Gas control valves on furnaces, water heaters, and other gas appliances that have been under water are unfit for continued use after they have been submerged. If they are used they could cause a fire or an explosion due to silt and corrosion from flood waters on internal components.