Flood Recovery – What You Need to Know

Flood recovery is a major task for homeowners. After the water recedes, you’ll need to clear away debris and clean up. You’ll also need to restore services like heat, power and sewage. Some people are able to do this on their own, while others may need help from volunteers, community groups and contractors. You may also be able to get financial assistance from the government and local communities.

It’s a good idea to keep children and pregnant women away from flooded areas. Floodwaters can contain sewage, chemicals and other contaminants. They may also be carrying harmful bacteria and viruses. If you must be in a flooded area, wear rubber gloves, goggles and sturdy work shoes. It’s also a good idea to get a tetanus shot before returning home from a flood zone. Local health clinics and hospitals will likely be set up to give these shots.

You should never drive through a flooded flood recovery road. Even if the water looks shallow, it can rise quickly and sweep you off the road. Turn around and find another way if you encounter barricades or signs that say “Turn Around Don’t Drown.” You should not enter a flooded building until authorities indicate it is safe to do so. Even if you’re certain the building is structurally sound, there may be hidden dangers such as chemical and sewage contamination, electrical hazards, or collapsed walls.

After flood waters recede, you’ll need to check for structural damage to your house and its contents. Look for sagging walls, sloping roofs, and weakened support columns or foundation elements. It’s also important to pay attention to electrical wiring and plumbing. If you suspect any of these problems, contact a licensed electrician and plumber for advice.

It’s also a good idea to have your home inspected by a professional after a flood. They can check for damage, and make recommendations about restoring or replacing items. They can also provide you with an estimate of how much it will cost to do the work.

If you return to your home after a flood, be sure to use fans and open windows to air out the building. You should also remove any rugs or carpeting that were soaked with water. If possible, put these outside to dry in the sun. Throw out any items that were soaked with water or that can’t be cleaned or disinfected (mattresses, mattresses pads, carpeting, stuffed animals and baby toys, cosmetics, foam-rubber items, books, wall coverings and drywall).

If your property has been badly damaged by flooding, your insurer will want to help you get it back to normal as quickly as possible. Insurers will employ a range of specialists to ensure that your property is repaired quickly and to a high standard. This can include loss adjusters, surveyors to oversee major building works, specialist cleaning and drying companies, and builders and tradesmen to carry out the repair work. Your insurer will also pay for your accommodation while your home is being restored.