You should always assume that flood water is contaminated and possibly toxic. Please don’t expose yourself unless absolutely necessary. Some of the most important rules to follow are:

  • Confirm with local authorities that access to your home or business is allowed.
  • Check outside for structural and electrical damage. Determine whether the property is safe to enter.
  • Check for fire hazards and gas leaks.
  • Turn off the main electrical switch. Do not turn it back on until you are certain there has been no damage to wires or appliances connected to the system.
  • Always wear protective equipment (non-vented goggles, an N-95 or higher mask preferably with a respirator, waterproof boots or waders, and gloves).
  • Clean and protect any wounds with waterproof bandages. If a wound develops redness, swelling, or drainage, seek immediate medical attention.
  • Keep children and senior citizens away from flood water.
  • Afterwards be sure to wash your hands thoroughly with soap before eating anything or touching your eyes and mouth.

*Remember to keep receipts for any protective equipment and cleaning supplies you purchased.

*Also photograph EVERYTHING! Here’s a great info graph on how to do that.

Next step: Removing Flood Water from a Building