In Case of Emergency, part 2

Emergencies happen. Flooding is one emergency that can happen in your home anywhere at any time. Whether it’s the result of a storm, broken pipes, washing machine supply lines leaking, melting snow, or water backup, a flood in your home can be dangerous and devastating. Last week we suggested the ICE list and guided you through the after effects of a fire. This guide will help you get through the immediate aftermath of a flood.

In case of a flood:

• Using your ICE list, contact your insurance agency so that you can discuss your policies, whether it be homeowner’s, renter’s, or even a flood policy. Your agent will be able to tell you what is covered and how they need you to proceed with claims.

• When you have been given permission by authorities you can re-enter your home cautiously. Turn off all power to your home using the main fuse box to avoid dangerous situations. (If you have to step in water to do this, wait until you can call an electrician to help you.) As you walk through your home proceed with caution, as there may be hidden dangers that are not apparent to you. If possible, keep your house open so that it can start to dry out.

• Your insurance agent may provide you with a list of clean-up or remediation companies. If not, make sure you check references and credentials. You’ll want someone you can trust and that is qualified to do the job.

• Contact a local relief organization for help in providing you with the basic necessities you will need.

• If you have cash or government issued documents that were destroyed, you can go online to get help, which can wait a while until you are more settled.

• Take care of yourself and your family. Make sure you are safe and that your needs are taken care of. Keep an eye out for health issues; oftentimes dirty contaminated water can cause illness, as well as the stress of experiencing such devastation.

The Red Cross says that it is estimated that there are about 150 fatalities every year due to accidents that occur after a flood. It is important to take extreme caution, even after the water is gone, because there may be damage that you don’t see. Don’t hesitate to ask for help…no question is a dumb question.

For more information on cleaning up after floods, visit www.ready.gov/floods.

 

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