Flood Recovery: What to Know

By November 30, 2018Flood Info
Flood Recovery

Recovery after any flood is difficult, whether you’re suffering from the catastrophic devastation caused by Hurricane Michael or your home was damaged by a small local flood. It can be extraordinarily difficult to accomplish all that needs to be done, but establishing a clear set of priorities is helpful.

Warning!

You’ve been anxiously waiting to go home, but don’t go in until you’re sure it’s safe.

  • Wear boots or sturdy shoes, eye protection, and heavy gloves. In addition to dangers such as broken construction materials, jagged metal, and glass, watch for snakes, red or fire ants, and other dangerous animals.
  • Check for structural damage before entering.
  • Wear a respirator capable of filtering mold spores if mold is present.
  • Be sure the gas and electricity are turned off and there are no gas leaks. Use only lights powered by batteries.
  • Open windows, doors, closet, and cabinet doors to ventilate home and reduce humidity. If possible, run air conditioner or heater, fans, and dehumidifiers.
  • Remove valuable belongings and clear debris.
  • Do what you can to minimize further damage: Tarp or repair roof and damaged floors, patch holes, and check for leaking water pipes.
  • Pump out basement very carefully. If soil surrounding the basement is still saturated, hydrostatic loads can cause the walls and floors to collapse or crack.
  • NEVER combine chlorine bleach with vinegar, ammonia or household cleaning products as the combination could create toxic fumes.

How Water Damages to Your Home

Many elements of your home are particularly vulnerable to floodwater damage.

  • Wallboard will disintegrate when wet for too long
  • Wood cabinets, doors, window frames, molding, and flooring will warp, swell and decay
  • Electrical components can shock you or cause fires

Mold and Contaminants

  • Mold spreads very quickly after a flood. Breathing in the mold spores can cause a number of serious health issues. Respirators are recommended.
  • Many common household products can be used to clean mold from surfaces. Moldpedia, among others, publishes instructions on various do-it-yourself mold removal methods.
  • Floodwater contains many unknown and potentially dangerous contaminants. Use bottled water for drinking, cooking, and other purposes until wells or public water sources are tested and pronounced safe.

Care for Your Family and Yourself

Your greatest source of strength is your family. Stay together.

  • Everyone is stressed but will react differently. Don’t hesitate to ask for help.
  • Establish a workable schedule.
  • Hold family meetings to talk about your problems, letting all family members express their concerns. Reassure your children and be patient.

Stay Healthy

Make mental and physical health a top priority.

  • Expect floodwaters to be contaminated. Contact with the water should be avoided by those with health issues, pregnant women, and young children.
  • Everything, especially dishes and cooking utensils, should be disinfected.
  • Wash hands thoroughly and frequently with clean water and soap.
  • Try to avoid being injured as any wound can easily become infected.
  • Pay attention to your physical limitations and take or obtain necessary prescription medications.

Financial Assistance

There are several sources of financial assistance.

1. Insurance

  • Contact your insurance agent(s) and your mortgage holder.
  • Homeowners insurance normally covers wind losses and broken water pipes.
  • Flood insurance covers floodwater losses.
  • Wind and hail insurance protects residents of coastal areas from hurricane losses.
  • Ask about coverage for hotels, rental cars, and other living expenses.
  • Find out details on the claims process and when an adjuster will be assigned. Take photos and begin a list of your damages. Separate damaged from undamaged items. Collect receipts and other proofs of purchase.
  1. Government Disaster ProgramsState and/or federal aid programs become available after your community has been declared a disaster area by your governor, the President, or a federal agency. Check with your local government for details on applying for state disaster relief programs.Presidential disaster declarations enable many federal disaster relief programs including:
  • Loans
  • Housing assistance
  • Grants
  • Deductions on income taxes
  • Counseling
  • Assistance with floodproofing your home
  1. Volunteer GroupsVolunteers from the Salvation Army, the American Red Cross, and churches are often among the first to offer help after a disaster. They typically help with immediate flood recovery needs such as clothing, shelter, food, medical aid, and counseling.Neptune Flood is committed to providing the best flood insurance available today. Obtain a quote in minutes – you’ll be surprised by the high limits, additional coverage, and affordable price. Compare Neptune’s coverage to traditional government flood insurance and see for yourself. Backed by some of the world’s largest insurance markets, Neptune Flood offers the flood insurance you need.

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