You’ve just set foot in your home, only to be greeted by a pool of floating furniture inside it. While that might be a scary visual, you should do your best not to panic. Only then will you be able to think straight and quickly come up with a proper action plan.
When it comes to floods, preparation is your best friend. Aside from acquiring all the necessary tools and equipment beforehand, you should also learn how to deal with a flood. That way, you won’t be so dumbfounded if it ever happens and you can focus on doing what’s necessary at that moment.
There’s no need to blow a fuse. Here’s what you should do during a flood:
1. Steady Your Nerves
First and foremost, you must not let your emotions get the best of you. Although shock and grief often emerge in disasters like these, you should try to contain them.
Start by doing some breathing exercises and going over the plan in your head. Talk to a dear friend or family member. Tell yourself that you will get through it. Remember that more than 14,000 people experience floods every day. While you might need to say goodbye to that new sofa you love so much, keep in mind that it’s only an object and that you can replace it with another one. The most important thing is that nobody got hurt.
In situations like these, changing your way of thinking is a must if you want to stay calm. Accept the fact that you now have to deal with a flood and invest a lot of money, time, and effort in its mitigation. The sooner you accept it, the better, as that means you can focus on more important aspects of a flood, such as the safety measures you need to take.
Another way you can make it easier on yourself is by immediately calling experts for help, especially if you don’t know the first thing about floods.
2. Safety Should Be Your Priority
In case of a major flood, you and your family should evacuate as soon as possible. Take what precious possessions you can in that short period of time and leave. Sometimes, floods can be so huge and disastrous that they can prevent you from leaving your house. In that case, you should move up to a higher floor of the house.
Here’s a tip — before any kind of disaster strikes, prepare an emergency bag with documents, a first aid kit, water, food, space blankets, and other things that you might need in cases like these. Then, if the disaster ever strikes, you can simply grab the bag and go without having to search the flooded house.
In addition, it’s crucial that you turn off the utilities. Unplug all the devices, then find the breaker box and switch off all the individual circuits, as well as the main breaker. You can contact your utility company for help if you’re unsure how to do that.
Whatever you do, make sure to wear protective gear. After all, you never know if the water is contaminated, even if it looks clean. Also, gloves will save you from electrocution.
3. Call a Water Damage Restoration Company for Help
After you’ve taken all the necessary first steps, the next best thing you can do in case of a flood is to contact a water damage restoration company. They will know exactly what to do, give you an immediate cost estimate, and guide you through the process until they get there. That way, you can be a bit calmer knowing that your home is in the hands of professionals. They also have all the safety and damage restoration equipment required to quickly handle a flood.
Nonetheless, you should take pictures beforehand. Those will serve as evidence when you file your insurance company claim. The insurance company might be able to cover some of the costs.
4. Know What to Expect
Getting yourself familiar with the flood mitigation process will make you feel less baffled and helpless in case you ever find yourself in that situation. Here’s what it typically looks like.
When flood damage contractors arrive, they will first assess the extent of the damage and thereby the work required to alleviate it. They will check every wall, ceiling, and floor to determine its condition and whether it has developed mold. If that’s the case, the repair will be much more costly. More importantly, you and your family will need to leave the house, as inhaling moldy air can be hazardous to your health.
Then comes the time for flood water removal. Using vacuums and pumps, the contractors will remove all the standing water. Next, they’ll ventilate the house or area and use dehumidifiers and fans to dry it out completely. Finally, they’ll proceed with cleaning and disinfection.
Lastly, they will repair the damaged structures and patch everything up to make it look as good as new.
While their services might be expensive sometimes, hiring water damage contractors is well worth the investment. In fact, in most cases, doing so is inevitable as an average person doesn’t know the first thing about flood damage restoration, nor do they have the time or equipment for it.
5. Be Patient
At first, speed is of the utmost importance when it comes to floods. However, after you’ve done everything there is to do on your part, it’s time to practice some patience. Apart from using fans and dehumidifiers, there’s no other way to speed up the drying process. In addition, you have to wait until the restoration is complete before you move back into the house.
Obviously, how long restoration will take depends on the extent of the damage. In some cases that means a few days. However, in other, more extreme cases, water damage is so deep and immense that it requires a full renovation of the house. Then, we’re talking months rather than days.
In case of a flood, you mustn’t let your nerves get the best of you and prevent you from taking all the necessary precautions. And if you prepare beforehand and know exactly what to do after a flood, the situation won’t seem as unknown and frightening as it would otherwise be.