Depending on your geographical location, what the weather is typically like, and what terrain your home or office resides on, flooding may be a natural and more-common-than-you’d-like occurrence. Or you might live in an area where floods rarely to never happen and when it does…it does. Lastly, a flood can take place due to a burst pipe or another fluke accident within the four walls.
If you’ve never experienced a flood, you probably aren’t too sure about what steps to take to secure your belongings, who to contact, and what process to go through to get everything cleaned and restored. Sometimes it takes going through something dramatic to know how to react and what to do.
Thankfully, there is research, there are experts, and there are other people out there who have been through a flood and can give others sound advice.
Let’s review some of those tips:
Always practice safety first!
Obviously you are going to want to avoid going into or staying inside of an area that is not deemed safe. If there are people and pets in the flood, get them out and to safety before you do anything else.
Turn off the electricity.
If you feel comfortable doing this yourself, do it immediately; otherwise, wait for professionals or someone else to come help you. You don’t want a flood and a fire or risk someone getting electrocuted in the water.
If the flooding is coming from inside of the home, shut off the water supply.
The source of the water may not be weather-related; it may be coming from a burst pipe. Just like it is absolutely necessary to turn off the electricity, the same goes for the water source. If you neglect this step, the flooding will only continue to get worse.
Take pictures of the damage.
Do this before you move any items or have anyone come out to inspect the damage. Taking videos and pictures of affected areas will help to cover you later on when dealing with your insurance company.
Move valuables to non-flooded areas if they are accessible.
If you are able to get around in the water, try to move valuables to a higher ground or to an undamaged area of the home or office. Unless you just truly don’t care about Aunt Marge’s clown figurines, get everything of value and sentiment away from the water and begin the drying process as needed.
Contact the appropriate people.
Call for help if needed (a neighbor, a friend, 911, etc.) and call your landlord (if applicable) and your insurer. Your insurance company will be able to advise you going forward and will let you know what information they will need to process the claim and get the ball rolling.
Get the professionals out there.
To avoid even more damage from mildew, mold, and wood rot, as well as to avoid a potential health hazard from flourishing mold spores, get a water and mold restoration professional out to the scene as soon as you are able to. A flooded area needs to be dealt with ASAP.
For additional information on staying safe and what to do during and after a flood, check out the American Red Cross Flood Safety Guide.
Have you recently been through a flood or know someone who has? Do you need help from a restoration specialist? Don’t worry—Restoration Certified Specialists, Inc. will take care of you! They have been proudly serving the Santa Rosa and North Bay areas since 1975.