This “Flood Damage To-Do List” is in reference to a natural disaster type flood. See our article on “My Kitchen or Bathroom Flooded, What do I do?” for other types of water damage.
This is a simple to-do list for natural disaster type flooding. This is a good starting point if you’ve just had a major flood from a hurricane or heavy rains (the type we see so frequently in Florida). For more in depth instructions please see our article “Recovery From A Flood: Precautions and Cleanup”.
A wise friend once told me, “You’re no good dead”. Keep this in mind and make your safety a priority. You are dealing with Category 3 water. This is the same category as raw sewage. You don’t want to know what has been washed into your house from the outside! You just need to know that you need to protect yourself and wash frequently.
1. Safety First!
- Make sure you have good gloves, rubber boots, a face mask, eye protection, anti-bacterial soap, and clean water. Wash frequently and change you mask if it gets splashed!
- Don’t eat food contaminated by flood water
- Don’t allow your children to play with any toys that have been exposed to the flood water
2. Survey the Scene
The water may be gone but that doesn’t mean the danger is. Below are some basic precautions you should follow:
- Make sure the power is off. The quickest and easiest way to do this is by tripping your main breaker.
- Shut off the main water to the house.
- Disable any battery powered devices.
- Stay away from wild animals if it’s been a major flood.
- Look for signs of structural damage.
- Keep mouth and eyes clear of the water.
- Watch for hidden debris such as broken glass.
3. Take an Inventory of the damage
- Walk around the perimeter of the property taking notes and pictures on what is damaged.
- Inspect damaged areas for potential structural weakness.
- Wait for a professional to certify the structure before going inside.
4. Secure the property
- Close and lock any doors and windows that can be closed.
- If possible use plywood to cover exposed openings.