Floods cause billions of dollars in damages every year and can occur anywhere in North America. All it takes is a few inches of flowing water to carry away people, cars, and other untethered objects. The aftermath of a flood can range from mild residual flooding and debris to contaminated water, dangerous animals, and hazardous downed power lines. Dangers may exist inside your home as well.

Follow these tips to survive a flood and stay safe in the aftermath.

Survive During a Flood

  • Listen to your local radio station, news channel, or NOAA radio for weather alerts.
  • If a flood warning is issued, take shelter immediately. This means moving to higher ground or the top floor of your building. Don’t go into the attic if there are no windows, or you could become trapped inside.
  • Only climb onto the roof if necessary. Once there, signal for help.
  • Listen to local emergency responders. If you are told to evacuate, do so, but never drive around road barricades.
  • Stay off of bridges that span fast-moving water because the structure is liable to collapse without warning.
  • Just six inches of moving water can knock you off your feet, and 12 inches can sweep away your vehicle. Therefore, never walk, swim, or drive through floodwater. Turn around, don’t drown!
  • If your car stalls in rapidly moving water, stay where you are. If water starts rising inside the car, climb onto the vehicle’s roof.

Stay Safe in the Aftermath

  • If you evacuated, only return home when the local authorities say it’s safe.
  • Avoid driving anywhere until you get the all-clear.
  • Don’t wade through standing floodwater. Dangerous animals, debris, or contaminants could be hiding beneath the surface.
  • Wear heavy clothing, including gloves and boots, during the cleanup process to help avoid injury.
  • Be wary of snakes and other water-loving animals that may be in your home or yard after a flood.
  • If you run a generator, keep it outside away from open windows and doors to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Understand the heightened risk of electrocution after a flood. Do not approach downed power lines or touch electrical equipment if it is wet or you are standing in water. If you can reach the breaker panel while standing on dry ground, turn off the electricity to the house to prevent electric shock.
  • Hire a professional to help with the flood cleanup. The faster you act, the better chance you have of avoiding mold damage.

Floods are the most common natural disaster in the world. If your home has been damaged by floodwater, DKI can help you recover. We have over 500 locations across North America to serve you wherever you are. With our elite disaster restoration experts by your side, you can breathe a sigh of relief, knowing a knowledgeable team will help with your recovery efforts. Call us anytime at 844-354-2255 to request 24/7 assistance.