Tips for returning home after a flood
In Jeff Davis and the surrounding communities the floodwaters have receded or started to recede, and many people will have to return after being forced to evacuate due to the flooding.
The American Red Cross offers useful safety information about coming home after a flood.
Before returning to you home, first find out if it is safe to enter your community or neighborhood. Follow the advice of your local authorities.
Also, you should bring supplies such as flashlights, batteries, bottled water and nonperishable foods in case utilities are out.
During the first inspection, beware of snakes, insects and other animals that may be in or around your home. Before entering your home, look outside for damaged power lines, gas lines, foundation cracks and other exterior damage. It may be too dangerous to enter the home.
If your home was flooded, assume it is contaminated with mold. Mold increases health risks for those with asthma, allergies or other breathing conditions. You can open doors and windows. If the house was closed more than 48 hours, let it air it out before staying inside for any length of time.
Turn the main electrical power and water systems off until you or a professional can ensure that they are safe.
When cleaning your home, you will need to throw out all food, beverages and medicine exposed to flood waters and mud, including canned goods and containers with food or liquid that have been sealed shut. Throw out items that absorb water and cannot be cleaned or disinfected such as mattresses, carpeting, cosmetics, stuffed animals and baby toys. When in doubt, throw it out.
You will also need to remove all drywall and insulation that has been in contact with floodwaters.
Clean hard surfaces like flooring, countertops and appliances thoroughly with hot water and soap or a detergent.
Understand that recovery takes time. Focus on the positive and have patience. Others will have similar frustrations. You are not alone.
For more information safety tips on flooding, visit the American Red Cross’s website at http://www.redcross.org/prepare/disaster/flood.
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