Floods can affect millions of people. Each year, floods are considered billion dollar weather disasters. In fact, floods are the #1 weather disaster each and every year in terms of economic losses. The range of damages after a flood can be major or minor. Examples of major damages include total loss of housing, crop failure, and death. Minor flood damage can include a small amount of seepage in the basement or crawlspace. Your car may also become flooded. No matter what the damage, keep these 20 flood safety tips in mind.
1. Wading Through Flood Waters
Wading through flood waters is dangerous for several reasons. First, flood waters can be moving at a rapid pace. Before you know it, you can be swept away and drown. Next, flood water can contain hundreds of different chemicals that are harmful for the body. In addition, bacteria and other microorganisms can cause disease and infection.
Driving in flood waters is dangerous and risky. Cars can be swept away in just a few inches of water. You can become stranded, or worse...
Flood insurance can protect you from an unexpected flood. Typically, the people that assume they do not need flood insurance are the people most affected by flood damages.
Every river has its own unique flood stage. Every single time a warning is posted for floods, be prepared. Many people assume they are not in a location to be affected by a flood, but this is not true. Once a river reaches flood stage, the results can be disastrous.
Mold after a flood can cause major problems even years after flood waters have receded. When hurricane Ike ravaged Texas, millions of tons of debris had to be removed because of growing mold and mildew problems.
6. Using Electricity After the FloodAlways remember that electrical lines and water do not mix. Standing in water and attempting to remove electrical wires is plain dangerous. Also remember that even if you do not have power in some locations in your house, not all the lines could be dead.
7. Handling Animals After a FloodSnakes, rodents, and stray animals can be extremely dangerous after a flood. From bites to diseases, never handle or approach animals after a flood. Keep in mind that insects are also a huge nuisance after a flood and can carry diseases.
8. Forgoing Protective Clothing and GlovesAlways wear protective clothing and gloves after a flood. Chemicals, animals, and debris can cause serious illness or injury. It is also a good idea to wear a protective mask when cleaning up after a flood. Many of the chemicals or mold can cause respiratory problems.
9. Driving on Previously Flooded Roads and BridgesFloods can damage roads and bridges. Unseen structural damage can mean it is not safe to drive on previously flooded roadways. Be sure that the area has been inspected by officials and approved for travel.
10. Passing on a Home InspectionYou should have your home inspected after a flood for unseen damages. Structural problems are not always apparent once the flood waters recede. A good inspector will check the structure of the house, the electrical system, the heating and cooling system, the sewage system, and more.