Turn off electricity at the main fuse box if necessary.
Do not turn electricity back on if you smell gas or if the electric
system has been flooded.
Wear sturdy work boots and gloves.
Do not handle electrical equipment in wet areas.
Upon reentering the site, watch for structural damage. Ceilings and
roofs may be subject to collapse.
Use flashlights, not lanterns, candles or matches, to check
buildings containing natural gas, propane, or gasoline.
Clean and disinfect everything that was touched by flood waters and
throw out any such foodstuffs.
Do not use TV's or other appliances while standing on wet carpet or
floors, especially not on wet concrete floors
Do not turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet, and keep out of
rooms where ceilings are sagging from retained water
Limit contact with areas and items affected by sewage water.
Listen for news reports to learn whether the community's water
supply is safe to drink.
Avoid floodwaters; water may be contaminated by oil, gasoline, or
raw sewage. Water may also be electrically charged from underground or
downed power lines.
Avoid moving water.
Be aware of areas where floodwaters have receded. Roads may have
weakened and could collapse under the weight of a car.
Stay away from downed power lines, and report them to the power
Return home only when authorities indicate it is safe
Stay out of any building if it is surrounded by floodwaters.
Use extreme caution when entering buildings; there may be hidden
damage, particularly in foundations.
Service damaged septic tanks, cesspools, pits, and leaching systems
as soon as possible. Damaged sewage systems are serious health hazards.
Clean and disinfect everything that got wet. Mud left from
floodwater can contain sewage and chemicals.
Remove all excess water by mopping or blotting - use clean white
towels for blotting. Several inches of water should be pumped out or
Circulate air for maximum drying: open windows for air exchange or
operate air conditioner.
Pierce small holes in sagging ceilings to release trapped water.
Clear items from atop wooden furniture and wipe off any moisture.
Remove wet upholstery cushions and prop them up in order to dry all
Separate wet clothing to avoid dye transfer.
Open drawers and cabinet doors for complete drying of space within.
Remove valuable oil paintings and art objects to a safe place.
Open suitcases and luggage to dry in sunlight if possible.
Make sure all carpeting is dried before rolling it up in order to
retain color quality.
Leave wet fabrics in place; dry as soon as possible. Furs and
leather goods need to be hung separately and dried at room temperature.
Leave books, magazines or other colored items on wet carpets or
Use your household vacuum to remove water.
Leave furniture directly on wet carpeting - place aluminum foil,
china saucers or wood blocks underneath furniture legs.
Leave Orientals or other colored rugs on wet wall-to-wall carpeting
- remove them until wall-to-wall is fully dried.
Attempt to clean upholstery or Oriental rugs with ordinary
Begin to repair or repaint damaged building surfaces until you are
certain they are completely dry.
Being informed and well prepared are
the best ways to improve your chances of recovering from disaster.
MAXONS offers a variety of informative presentations and continuing
education seminars tailored to meet your specific educational needs.