If you had to evacuate, check with local authorities, to see if it is safe and accessible to return to your home before you make the trip. Listen to local radio and TV stations also for information. If an area is not accessible and deemed dangerous, they will not let you through. Avoid flooded roads, watch out for washed out bridges, and beware of loose or downed power lines in the roadway.
Tips for Recovery:
- If your home/business structure has suffered flood damage, contact your insurance agent as soon as possible.
- Check with Dixie Electric and to see if power has been disconnected to your structure before entering. If you see sparks, or broken/frayed wires, or smell anything burning, contact the Dixie Electric immediately to cut the power if you cannot reach the main circuit box yourself. Do not wade through water with live wires. Keep power off until an electrician can inspect your system for safety issues. Do not use any electrical appliances after your home has been flooded. Switches, outlets, and electrical appliances may have been damaged after being submerged in water and can be dangerous.
- Check for structural damage BEFORE you enter your home or place of business. If ok, open windows and doors to ventilate your home or business structure. DO NOT USE CANDLES, LIGHTERS, OR ANY TYPE OF OPEN FLAME, there may be gas trapped inside. Use a flashlight to inspect.
- Check for water pipe damage and do not use toilets or faucets until it can be inspected by a plumber.
- Take pictures of any floodwater and/or damage to your personal property and your home’s structure. If possible, provide receipts for any damaged property to your insurance agent. Make a list of any items that may have been swept away in the flood.
- Boil water as a precaution for drinking and food preparation until authorities tell you that it is safe.
- When beginning cleanup, wear heavy duty gloves, waterproof boots and a mask. Wet debris can contain mold and other harmful bacteria; protect yourself. Use disinfectants with pine-oil cleansers and bleach that will kill bacteria and mold. Wait for items to completely dry for several days, then check for mold, fungus and any unusual odors before bringing back into your home.
- If looking for a contractor to help with cleanup or repair structural damage, make sure they are a legitimate licensed contractor or builder. Ask for reference, make a copy of their ID, and check online with the Better Business Bureau. Look for recommended contractors that are local to your area. Be wary of any contractor or person soliciting business and asking for payment up front. There are several online resources available also in helping you find an honest contractor.
For more information on floods and what you can do, check out ready.gov: