After a flood, many people are left packing saying “my house flooded, what do I do?”. Read this article to be prepared so that you are not left in a panic!
Did you know that of all types of natural disasters in the US, 90% are water-related?
In fact, between 1995 and 2015, floods accounted for 43% of all reported natural disasters in the US!
In 2017 to 2019 alone, experts say that floods, storms, and cyclones, cost the nation at least $456.7 billion in losses.
The March 2019 Missouri River and North Central Flooding alone led to $10.8 billion in losses.
All this shows how flooding can affect anyone, even those in low to moderate-risk flood zones.
As such, it’s best that you know what to do in case you find yourself shouting “My house has flooded!”
This way, you can limit the damage while also staying safe against the threats of floods.
Ready to learn what to do in a flood and how you can minimize its effects on your home and health?
Then let’s get right into it!
Determine and Stop the Source of Flood
Aside from natural events, faulty plumbing can also lead to a house flood.
Burst plumbing pipes or leaky toilets, for instance, can quickly fill your home with water.
In this case, you should shut off your home’s main water valve.
Do this only if you can reach the valve without having to wade in the water.
Otherwise, contact an emergency plumbing service right away.
Shut Down Your Home’s Main Electricity Supply
As with turning off the water valve, you should only do this if you don’t have a walk through water.
Live outlets and plugged appliances can transfer electricity to water, causing shock injuries.
Keep in mind that every year, around 30,000 non-fatal shock incidents occur in the US.
Around 20% of these affect children.
Move All Members of Your Family to Higher Ground
If rising floodwaters prevent you from leaving your home, move to the second floor, if your home has one.
Make sure you account for every member of your family, including your pets.
Carry babies, toddlers, and smaller four-legged family members to safety.
If you can, bring water-proof clothes, flashlights, extra batteries, and a portable radio.
Take a few bottled water and small, sealed food with you, if possible.
Evacuate Your Home
In case you can still leave your home and your neighbor’s house is on higher ground, ask them for help.
They may be able to house you until the flood subsides.
If not, check if there are temporary shelters near your home.
If the nearest place requires you to drive though, it’s best to stay at home.
Six inches of rushing water is all it takes to knock you over.
Two feet of quick-moving water can already carry away large vehicles, including SUVs.
Call 911 If Anyone Needs Emergency Medical Assistance
If any member of your family needs medical attention, dial 911 right away.
If not, keep everyone huddled together, and if you have some, under warm blankets.
Close all blinds and curtains and use rolled-up towels to seal cracks under the doors.
All this will help keep you guys warm as you wait for the storm to pass and the flood to subside.
Contact Your Insurer
If you can get through, place a call to your homeowners’ insurance provider.
In case you need to conserve your phone’s battery, you can do this after the flood.
What’s important is to let your insurer know as soon as possible that your home has flooded.
You may also have to find a public adjuster if this is your first time filing a flood insurance claim.
It’s also a good idea to hire an adjuster if you think your insurer offered an insufficient claim amount.
Your adjuster will not only help you file the claim but also negotiate the settlement amount.
Safe Steps to Take After the Flood
Once the flood subsides, document the losses and damages your home has sustained.
Take as many photos and videos of the flood-affected areas of your home.
Be sure to wear personal protective gear, such as waterproof boots.
Once you’ve documented the flood damage, ring up your homeowners’ insurance provider again.
You may have to follow a protocol, such as waiting for their adjuster, before you can clean up your home.
You can still hire your own adjuster even if this is the case.
If your insurer gives you the green light, you can begin getting rid of the remaining water in your home.
Depending on the extent of the flooding, it may be best to leave this task to flood removal experts.
These professionals also have powerful drying and disinfecting equipment.
If there’s an absolute need to access any flooded area, don proper safety clothing.
This helps to prevent exposure to flood and wastewater pathogens, such as E. coli (STEC).
Note that there are about 265,000 STEC infections in the US each year, a third of which is due to E. coli.
Safety gear can also protect you from chemicals that may have mixed with the floodwater.
It can also prevent injuries, like cuts, that debris in the floodwater can cause.
Follow This Guide as Soon as You Find Yourself Yelling “My House Has Flooded!”
There you have it, the key steps to take in the event that you find yourself exclaiming “my house has flooded!”
The most important thing is to get all the members of your household away from the floodwater.
As soon as you’ve accounted for everyone (and their safety), all you can do is to wait for the flood to subside.
As a final tip, consider getting extra flood insurance for your home.
This way, you can better protect your home (and its contents) against flood damage.
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