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After a Flood

After a Flood

After a Flood

Do not return to disaster areas until you are authorized to do so. Just because the water is gone doesn't mean the danger is, too.

Returning Home

  • Don't operate any electrical appliances until a professional electrician has inspected them.
  • Throw away any food that came into contact with flood waters.
  • Discard or disinfect other items that came into contact with flood waters. Floods can carry raw sewage, dangerous chemicals and germs.
  • Contact your insurance agent. Document the damage to your home with pictures or video.
  • Seek medical care if you are injured. Floods create conditions where infections can spread easily.
  • Ask for help when you need it. The local chapter of the American Red Cross and the Office of Emergency Management can help.
  • Stay out of buildings that are surrounded by water. The water can trigger a collapse at any time.
  • Watch out for animals that have been displaced by the flood.
  • If your basement has water in it, empty it slowly (about 1/3 per day) to avoid collapse.
  • Stay away from fallen power lines, and report them by calling 911.
  • Review the Environmental Protection Agency's Flood Cleanup Fact Sheet.

Although flooding can be devastating to an unprepared community, it is a natural event with a purpose.

  • Floods distribute rich sediment and refresh streams.
  • Floods allow rivers and streams to overflow their banks naturally, which can prevent more serious flooding downstream.
  • Parks, open space and wetlands provide natural protection from flooding, allowing water to spread over a large area and cause little or no damage.
  • Floods return nutrients to the land and contribute to the health of wetlands, meadows and riparian zones.
    • These areas are important for improving water and air quality, replenishing groundwater resources, and supporting wildlife and aquatic habitats.
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