10 steps to take after a flood

Cleaning up after flooding in your home isn’t simple, and it can be extremely dangerous with contaminated water or damaged electrical wires.
But there are steps you can take to minimize risk and help restore your house to your home.
A street lined with houses flooded with high watersHere are 10 safety precautions to follow after flooding:
  1. Continue to take precautions and listen to and follow directions from local authorities. Listen to the radio, watch your local news channels, and/or follow your local news outlet and/or emergency officials on social media.
  2. Return to your home only when the authorities have indicated that there is no danger and follow their instructions carefully.
  3. Contact your insurance company and let them know what happened. They will want to know a record of damage to your home and belongings and may request photos or video. 
  4. Before entering your home, examine the exterior to see if it has been damaged: check for free electrical wires, damaged gas lines, cracks in the foundation, etc. Your house may have been damaged; approach entries with caution. Inside, be aware of any holes in floors, broken glass and other debris inside the house.
  5. Maintain good hygiene during flood cleanup by minimizing contact with floodwater or anything that may have come in contact with it. Wear protective clothing, including rubber boots or sturdy boots, safety glasses, hard hat, rubber gloves and a dust mask.
  6. Do not use water that could be contaminated. Discard any food items which may have been in contact with flood waters. When in doubt, throw it out!
  7. Keep away from electrical cables on the ground and do not use appliances, electrical outlets, switch boxes or fuse panels until they have been checked by a qualified electrician.
  8. If you smell natural gas or propane gas or hear a whistle, leave immediately and dial 9-1-1.
  9. Check with local authorities or community leaders on how to properly dispose of damaged items from your home.
  10. Consult the Canadian Red Cross Guide To Flood Recovery for step-by-step instructions.
We also have tips on how to manage the intense stress caused by a disaster.

Learn more about what to do before, during, and after flooding in your area.


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