Below are tips from the American Red Cross & FEMA about the first steps you should take after a flood has occurred in your home:

Roads may be closed because they have been damaged and/or are covered by water. Barricades haven been placed for your protection. If you come upon a barricade or a flooded road, go another way. TURN AROUND, DON'T DROWN.

Listen to the radio about what to do, where to go or places to avoid.

Emergency workers will assist people in flooded areas. You can help them by staying off the roads & out of the way.

If you must walk or drive in areas that have been flooded:

Stay on firm ground. Moving water 6 inches deep can sweep you off your feet. Water may be electrically charged from underground/downed power lines.

Avoid walking & driving through flooding. Flooding often erodes roads & walkways, may cause familiar places to change & hides debris.

Play it safe. Additional flooding or flash floods can occur. If your car stalls in rapidly rising waters, get out immediately & climb to higher ground.

Tips for Staying Healthy

A flood can cause emotional and physical stress. You need to look after yourself & family while focusing on clean up and repair.

Rest often and eat well.

Keep a manageable schedule. Make a list and do jobs once at a time.

Avoid direct contact with flood or back up water when possible. Children & pets should not play or come in contact with flood water.

After cleaning up your home, make sure to do the following before removing your latex gloves:

  • Sanitize or dispose of aprons & other clothing worn during clean-up.

  • Disinfect rubber foot-wear in a bucket using bleach disinfectant.
  • Disinfect buckets and other such materials used in clean-up before storing them.
  • Remove latex gloves from the inside-out & wash hands for at least 2 minutes with warm water & a disinfectant soap to assure all skin surfaces are clean of contaminants.
  • Discuss your concerns with others and seek help. Contact the Red Cross for information on emotional support.

Tips to Clean & Repair Your Home

Turn off the electricity at the main breaker or fuse box, even if the power is off in your community.

While cleaning up flooded areas, wear protective clothing & gear, such as latex & waterproof, impenetrable rubber boots to prevent exposure to sewage.

TIP: Contact the Department of Public Health to receive protective rubber gloves.

Use a disinfectant solution of laundry bleach (5.25% hypochlorite) for clean-up.

TIP: You can make this solution by mixing 1 part laundry bleach with 9 parts water.

Place all disposables in a sealed bag for garbage collection & removal.

Contact your insurance agent to discuss claims.

Hire clean up/repair contractors.

• TIP: If you choose to hire, check references to if see they are qualified. Be wary of people who drive through neighborhoods offering help.


American Red Cross

The American Red Cross can help by providing you with a voucher to purchase new clothing, groceries, essential medications, bedding, essential furnishings & other items to meet emergency needs. They also can provide a clean up kit including a mop, broom, bucket & cleaning supplies. Their book, Repairing Your Flooded Home, is available free from your state/local emergency manager & gives tips: How to...

enter your home safely

protect your home & belongings from further damage

record damage to support insurance & assistance requests

check for gas & water leaks

have service restored

clean up appliances, furniture, floors & other belongings