Flooding and water damage can create health and environmental problems. Contaminated drinking water can be a significant health concern during a flood. A home that has been flooded can provide ideal conditions for the growth of mold.
Steps you can take
Assemble an Emergency Supply Kit
Include items like non-perishable food, water, a battery-powered or hand-crank radio, first aid supplies, extra flashlights and batteries. Store it in your shelter location.
Make a Family Emergency Plan
In case family members are separated from one another during a flood, have a plan for getting back together.
Ask an out-of-state relative or friend to serve as the "family contact." After a disaster, it’s often easier to call long distance. Make sure everyone in the family knows the name, address, and phone number of the contact person.
Know your home
Find out if your home is located in a flash-flood-prone area or landslide-prone area. Identify potential home hazards and know how to secure or protect them before the flood strikes.
For drains, toilets and other sewer connections, install backflow valves or plugs to prevent floodwaters from entering. Anchor any fuel tanks—an unanchored tank outside can be swept downstream and damage other houses.
Returning to your home after a flood
When returning to a home that’s been flooded, be aware that your house may be contaminated with mold or sewage, which can cause health risks for your family.
Your electrical system and gas supply may also be damaged. If you see frayed wiring or sparks, or if there is an odor of something burning but no visible fire, you should immediately shut off the electrical system at the circuit breaker.
For more information about precautions when returning to your home, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.