& WATER DAMAGE TIPS
will often be contaminated, especially by untreated sewage. Contamination
remains after the floodwater has gone and can be hazardous unless
simple procedures are followed. Wear rubber boots and gloves in
and around the affected property. Wash all cuts and cover with
waterproof plasters. Anyone receiving a puncture wound during
flood recovery should have a doctor determine whether a tetanus
booster is necessary. Small children, pregnant women and people
with health problems should avoid flood water and flooded areas
until cleanup is complete. If you follow basic advice you should
not experience any health problems. However, if you do feel unwell
or if you accidentally ingest (swallow) mud or contaminated water
and you become ill, you should consult your doctor and tell them
your house was flooded.
can damage buildings severely, particularly if it has been flowing
quickly or has been in a property for a long time. Before entering
property that has been flooded, the outside of the building should
be checked for signs of structural damage.
- Look for
obvious signs of potential instability in the building –
deep scouring of the surrounding ground or impact by the water
or heavy objects. If there are any such signs, do not enter the
building until a structural engineer, or your insurance loss adjuster,
has inspected it
- Be careful
when moving any debris that may have been carried onto your property
or the surrounding area.
- Avoid heavy
objects (e.g. trees) that may be unstable and could suddenly move
and trap or crush you.
- Do not attempt
to move anything yourself that cannot be lifted comfortably.
- Do not enter
a building that has large amounts of sediment either inside it,
or piled against the external walls, as the structure may be unsafe
and could collapse. Sediments, such as mud or sand, that may be
left behind by a flood can result in heavy loadings on a building
that it wasn't designed to cope with.
- Be careful
when moving in and around property that has been flooded. Standing
water and mud can hide holes, damage to structures and sharp objects.
This could include uncovered manholes and drains or roads, paths
or building foundations that may have been undermined, as well
as broken bottles or glass.
- Be aware
of the risks such as falling, structures collapsing on or under
you, cuts from standing or falling onto hidden hazards and slippery
• Do not approach any structure that may be unsafe.
• Do not approach any fast flowing water or deep standing
water. If you enter swiftly flowing water, you risk drowning,
regardless of your ability to swim. Shallow standing water can
be dangerous for small children.
• In all cases move slowly and carefully, make sure you
are wearing strong footwear and use a stick to check that you
are not about to step into a hole or onto a sharp object.
- Turn off
the electricity supply to the property until a qualified electrician
has checked out the electrical systems.
- Use extreme
caution in dealing with electricity - if in doubt about the safety
of mains supply call your electricity supplier for assistance.
- After making
sure mains supply is safe check all switches, sockets and appliances
prior to any use.
- Do not switch
on electrical appliances that have been in contact with the floodwater
unless a competent electrician has checked them.
- Once all
electrical safety checks have been made, make sure that you use
a circuit breaker with any electrical equipment that you may use
in, or to clean or repair, your property.
- Watch out
for any fallen power lines and do not approach them - be aware
that there is a potential electric shock hazard.
- If using
a generator for temporary electricity supply, ensure you have
been instructed on its use and remember the following points for
• Do not run generators in an enclosed area engines produce
• Do let the engine cool off before re-fuelling.
• Do connect the appliance directly to the generator. You
should not try to hook generators to your home electrical supply
- Turn off
the gas supply to appliances that have been flooded (or where
their vents/flues may have been affected).
a flood, use bottled water for washing, drinking or cooking. In
extreme cases, warnings will be given by your water authority
to boil all water before use.
- Do not use
water from wells in buildings if these have been flooded.
- Do not eat
food that may have been in contact with the flood water or contaminated
- Clean and
thoroughly disinfect all taps, utensils, crockery/cutlery, food
preparation surfaces etc. before use and during clean-up period.
- Be careful
when approaching any vermin, pests and other animals that may
have been disturbed by the flood and taken shelter in your property.
These could include mice or rats, stray cats or dogs. If you see
vermin in your property contact your Local Pest/Animal Control.
- Use extreme
caution when returning to your area after a flood. Be aware of
potential chemical hazards you may encounter during flood recovery.
- Flood waters
may have buried or moved hazardous chemical containers from their
normal storage place, including solvents, aerosol cans and industrial
- Mold and
Mildew can pose several different health hazards as well. A professional
should be contacted for clean up of Mold and Mildew as if left
to linger will cause greater health and restoration problems in
the long run.