Health and Safety After Home Flood
Following a flood, all kinds of dangers lurk in waters along with your home. Whether it’s germs, mold, electricity, or rapid flows — all pose a danger for your health and safety in case you are not careful. Here are the most common hazards following a House flood, and tips to prevent them:
- You can contract a disease by eating or drinking contaminated products. Floodwaters can directly infect food with germs such as E. coli or Salmonella or during a power surge.
- Throw away food that has come in contact with floodwaters, such as bottled drinks and goods from jars, or any food that smells and looks unusual. Intact, canned goods might be washed and disinfected.
- Discard perishable foods such as eggs or meat, which have been abandoned at over 41 degrees Fahrenheit for more than four hours.
- Throw away all medicines, makeup, and other toiletries that have touched floodwater.
- If you have made contact with floodwater, practice good hygiene — wash hands frequently with soap and warm water.
- Don’t let kids play in floodwater or with toys contaminated with floodwater.
- If you have an open wound, then keep it clean, cover it with a waterproof bandage, and avoid exposure to floodwater.
Rapid Flowing Waters
- Don’t drive through flowing water even if it’s just a few inches deep. Your car or truck may break down or get swept away.
- If the roads are flooded and you absolutely must drive, monitor road conditions and obey closure signs. Be aware of road hazards such as mud, building debris, tree limbs, and potholes.
- Never walk through flowing water either. Rapidly moving water can be fatal, even in case you can swim.
- Avoid areas with mold growth — it can form within 24-48 hours of flooding. Mold has to be removed before going back to your own home. For mold and water damage cleanup, employ a professional damage restoration company, such as PuroClean.
- Run gas, propane, and diesel-powered equipment just in well-ventilated outdoor areas to prevent carbon monoxide buildup.
- Stay away from building materials that may contain lead, such as painted surfaces and plumbing.
- Be aware of asbestos poisoning. Don’t enter areas where asbestos may have been used as a construction material.
- When returning to your home after a flood, be aware of possible chemical hazards that floodwaters might have carried.
- Do not move propane tanks as they may cause a fire or explode. Call the State Fire Marshal’s office immediately. They fixed the fire damage, check them out.
- If you see automobile batteries in floodwaters, do not get close to them to prevent electrical shock. Additionally, beware of any acid that may have spilled from a damaged car battery.
Electrical and Gas Dangers
- Never touch electric lines, wires, equipment, and fittings during and after a flood. Report fallen power lines.
- Do not walk or drive through floodwater if downed power lines are inside.
- Never enter your house if the main power switch was not turned off before flooding. Wait till a qualified electrician has declared your home safe before re-entering.
- Evacuate your home if you detect or smell gas and notify the gas company.
- In the aftermath of a flood, all children of debris might be potentially dangerous.
To learn more about home flooding safety, check out how to protect your home from floods and what to do following a basement flood. For flood water damage repair and mold remediation support, contact your local PuroClean in Wellington office.