Home Flood Health Risks and Safety Hazards

Following a flood, all kinds of risks lurk in waters along with your home. When it’s bacteria, mold, power, or rapid flows — all pose a danger for your health and safety if you are not careful. Here are the most Frequent hazards following a home flood, and tips to avoid them: 

Infections

  • You can deal with a disease by eating or drinking contaminated products. Floodwaters can directly infect food with bacteria like E. coli or Salmonella or during a power surge. There’s also the risk of wound infection if you come in contact with floodwater.
  • Throw away food that has come in direct contact with floodwater, including bottled drinks and goods from jars, or some other food that looks and smells unusual. Intact, canned goods may be washed and disinfected.
  • Discard perishable foods like meat or eggs, which have been abandoned at above 41 degrees Fahrenheit for over four hours.
  • Throw away all medicines, makeup, and other medications which have touched floodwater.
  • If you’ve made contact with floodwater, practice good hygiene — wash hands frequently with soap and water.
  • Don’t let kids play in floodwater or with toys contaminated with floodwater.
  • When you have an open wound, then keep it clean, cover it with a waterproof bandage, and also avoid exposure to floodwater.

Rapid Flowing Waters

  • Do not push flowing water if it’s only a couple of inches deep. Your vehicle may break down or get swept away.
  • When the roads are flooded and you absolutely must drive, monitor road conditions and obey closure indications. Be aware of road hazards like mud, building debris, tree limbs, and potholes.
  • Never walk through flowing water either. Rapidly moving water can be deadly, even in case you’re able to swim.
  • Avoid areas with mold expansion — it may form within 24-48 hours of flooding. Mold has to be eliminated before moving back to your property. For mold and disaster cleanup, employ a professional damage restoration firm, such as PuroClean.
  • Run gasoline, propane, and diesel-powered equipment only in well-ventilated outdoor areas to prevent carbon monoxide buildup.
  • Stay away from building materials that may contain lead, such as painted surfaces and pipes.
  • Be aware of asbestos poisoning. Do not enter areas where asbestos may have been used as a construction material.

Chemical Exposure

  • When returning to your house following a flood, be aware of potential chemical hazards that floodwaters could have carried.
  • Do not move propane tanks yourself as they could cause a fire or burst. Telephone the State Fire Marshal’s office immediately.
  • If you see car batteries in floodwaters, do not get near them to avoid electric shock.

Electrical and Gas Dangers

  • Never touch electric lines, wires, equipment, and fixtures during and after a flood. Report fallen power lines.
  • Do not walk or drive through floodwater if downed power lines are in it.
  • Never enter your home if the primary power switch wasn’t turned off prior to flooding. Wait till a qualified electrician has announced your house safe before re-entering.
  • Evacuate your house if you detect or odor gas and notify the gas company.

Debris

  • In the wake of a flood, all children of debris may be potentially dangerous.

To learn more about home flooding safety, check out how to protect your house from floods and everything to do following a basement flood. For flooding water damage repair and mold remediation support, contact your local PuroClean office.