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After a Flood
Get your flood recovery off to a good start by following this checklist during the first 24 hours:

  • Make sure your family and neighbors are okay. Seek medical help if anyone is injured.

  • Do not return to your home until it is safe to do so. Monitor local news to find out when evacuation orders are lifted.

  • Check for visible structural damage to the building. Look for cracks in the foundation, warping, holes and other signs of a compromised structure. Be very cautious when entering buildings. Once inside, check for ceiling damage fore entering each room.

  • Contact utility companies if you suspect damage to water, gas, electric, or sewage lines.    

  • Turn off all electrical sources within the home. Even if the power if off, shut off the main and each individual fuse connection. This will ensure that if the power comes back on you won't mix standing water with electrical current. Keep power off until an electrician advises you it is safe to turn it back on.

  • Take photographs of all damage to your home and possessions BEFORE you start any clean up or repairs.

  • Contact your insurance carrier immediately to begin the claims process. If you are not able to reach your local insurance adjuster, call the company's headquarters.

  • Avoid contact with the water. Even if water is clear, it may have been contaminated by sewage or household chemicals. Wear boots and rubber gloves to protect yourself while in contact with floodwaters or damaged items.

  • Boil water for drinking and cooking until authorities advise you that the local water supply is safe. Throw away any food that may have come into contact with floodwaters.

  • Find out if your region has been officially declared a disaster area. If so, you may have access to increased resources or financial assistance. Go to www.disasterassistance.gov and enter your address to see if your area has been declared and to apply online.

  • Remove water and start drying out your home. Use a sump pump, wet vac and/or buckets to remove water. Open doors and windows and use fans and dehumidifiers to speed up the drying process. Open closet and cabinet doors and remove drawers to allow air circulation.

  • Mitigate mold damage, which may start to occur within 24 to 48 hours after a flood. Remove wet contents including carpeting and bedding as soon as possible. Notify your insurance carrier before removing items. Always photograph any damaged items before you move or discard them.

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