Floods are the single most common natural disaster in theUnited States, occurring year round, in all fifty states, causing billions of dollars every year in life and property flood damage. They may develop slowly over a period of days, or they may occur in the form of raging flash floods that spring up in a matter of hours or minutes and rage across the countryside, with little or no warning to individuals in their path.
The power of water has to be seen to be believed. It only takes about six inches of flowing water to knock a grown man off his feet, and only about two feet of water to float a car or small SUV. Flood waters can also literally shift a home or business on its foundations (at best) or it may even wipe them completely away (at worst).
If your home is the potential target of flood damage, it is always advisable to evacuate, removing yourself from the path of the flood. You can protect items in your home in most cases by moving them to higher elevations or upper floors. Before leaving your home, shut off all utilities at their source. Water and electricity do not mix, and a spark may ignite any leaking gas. It is always preferable to avoid problems before they can occur.
Have a plan for evacuation, preferably one that leads to higher ground. If a flash flood warning is issued, drop everything and leave immediately. You may only have a matter of minutes.
Once the flood waters have receded, do not return to your home until the all clear has been given by local emergency management. And even then, remember about flood waters shifting homes on their foundations….you want to take the time to inspect your home for structural integrity before entering. The last thing you need is your home coming down around you.
The level of damage left behind will most likely be overwhelming and traumatizing, with not only flood water damage, but also a considerable amount of mud, silt, and debris left behind. You should keep an eye out for any animals, especially snakes, that may have taken refuge in your home.
Of course it is important to begin the flood damage restoration process right away in order to prevent any further damage. Open all windows and doors to get air circulating, remove as many loose items as possible, and take appropriate measures to remove the excess water.
Flood damage restoration is, in most cases, far too difficult for the average homeowner to undertake, no matter how handy they may think themselves to be. The only way to make sure that your property is properly treated and restored is to hire a flood damage professional, one that is certified by an industry leader such as the IICRC or RIA.
Professional flood damage restoration companies have the personnel, training, experience, and equipment to handle even the largest cases of water damage, and in most cases can handle other related issues such as mold remediation, carpet drying and cleaning, and structural repair and restoration.
Don’t entrust your home to just anybody; call your local flood damage professionals today. If you need further advice visit the FEMA website.