Get Safely back in your home after Flood Damage

Get Safely back in your home after Flood Damage

Author: David Libowitz



Flood Hazard Terms and Steps to Take After a Flood to Safely Get Back into Your Home

The following terms are commonly used to describe a potential flood hazard:

Flood Watch: Flooding is possible.  Keep up to date regarding flood risk by watching the local news, listening to the radio or using the internet.

Flash Flood SignFlash Flood Watch: Flash Flooding is possible so identify and be prepared to move to higher ground and keep up to date regarding flood risk by watching the local news, listening to the radio or using the internet

Flood Warning: Flooding either is occurring or will be occurring.  Depending on the projected severity of the flooding, evacuation may be advised.  If evacuation is advised, follow the recommended evacuation plan.

Flash Flood Warning: A flash flood is occurring.  Move to higher ground and if possible find shelter.

If a flood occurs, a building damaged by water intrusion can be dangerous if the proper precautions are not taken.  Common hazards after a home has water damage are:

  • Flooded home insideElectrical Hazards: If the power is on, do not enter a building that is flooded or water damage.  If electrical circuits have gotten wet, have the power turned off at the main breaker or fuse box and call a licensed electrician.
  • Structural Damage: If the structure or foundations is damaged, do not enter the home.   Be sure to look carefully before entering the home and leave immediately if the structure looks, feels or sounds unstable.
  • Hazardous materials: Items such as pesticides, fuel, oil, gasoline, asbestos or lead based paint may have been brought into the home or spilled as a result of the flood damage and should be cleaned up using proper precautionary measures.
  • Injuries: Injuries can occur after flood damage, such as slipping and falling, being struck by falling objects, lifting heaving objects, broken bones and cuts that occur while cleaning up are common when cleaning up a home that has flood damage.
  • Bacteria and Virus can be brought into a home that has flood water.  Standing water can enable mold growth.  Exposure to any of these biohazards can be dangerous to your health.

Safety Precautions Should be Taken if Working in a Home with Flood Damage

  •  Wear the appropriate personal protective equipment (“PPE”): The appropriate types of hats, safety goggles, gloves and a face mask should be worn.
  • Stay alert and be cognizant of your surroundings: It is important to stay alert and to continually be on the lookout for potential hazards and hazardous materials.
  • Protect yourself from bacteria and viruses: Wear a mask, do not eat or drink in the house, wear gloves and wash your hands frequently.
  • Be careful when lifting heavy objects.
  • Get help when dealing with hazardous materials: Do not remove or touch hazardous materials without the help of a qualified professional.   If you suspect hazardous materials are present, call your local health or fire department.
  • Seek medical attention if you are cut or injured in any way. For a great water damage company click here

About author

David Libowitz

David is the Owner of SERVPRO of West Palm Beach, and was recently appointed the Chairman of the Advisory Board of the University of Miami Brain Tumor Initiative. David graduated from Tufts University with a B.A. in Economics and The Wharton School with an MBA in Finance. David has an extensive career investing in and working with companies to facilitate their growth, both organically and through acquisitions. David spent 11 years at Warburg Pincus (one of the largest private equity firms in the world), and worked his way up from Associate to Partner. Over the course of his career, David has served on the Board of Directors of 15 private and public companies and was also the CEO of a start-up software company. David has IICRC Water Damage Restoration and Applied Structural Drying Certifications and also holds a Lead Based Paint Certification.

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