Flood Safety

According to FEMA, “Floods are America’s number one natural disaster and can happen anytime, anywhere.” Floods are consistently the most common, costly and deadly natural disaster Americans face each year. In fact 90% of all natural disasters in the U.S. involve flooding.

 

Before A Flood

 

Educate Yourself

After getting flood insurance, there are several things you can do to minimize losses in your home and ensure your family’s safety.

1. Safeguard your possessions.
Create a personal flood file containing information about all your possessions and keep it in a secure place, such as a safe deposit box or waterproof container. This file should have:

  • A copy of your insurance policies with your agent’s contact information.
  • A household inventory: For insurance purposes, be sure to keep a written and visual (i.e., videotaped or photographed) record of all major household items and valuables, even those stored in basements, attics or garages. Create files that include serial numbers and store receipts for major appliances and electronics. Have jewelry and artwork appraised. These documents are critically important when filing insurance claims. For more information visitwww.knowyourstuff.org.
  • Copies of all other critical documents, including finance records or receipts of major purchases.

2. Prepare your house.

  • First make sure your sump pump is working and then install a battery-operated backup, in case of a power failure. Installing a water alarm will also let you know if water is accumulating in your basement.
  • Clear debris from gutters and downspouts.
  • Anchor any fuel tanks.
  • Raise your electrical components (switches, sockets, circuit breakers, and wiring) at least 12 inches above your home’s projected flood elevation.
  • Place the furnace, water heater, washer, and dryer on cement blocks at least 12 inches above the projected flood elevation.
  • Move furniture, valuables, and important documents to a safe place.

3. Develop a family emergency plan.

  • Create a safety kit with drinking water, canned food, first aid, blankets, a radio, and a flashlight.
  • Post emergency telephone numbers by the phone and teach your children how to dial 911.
  • Plan and practice a flood evacuation route with your family. Know safe routes from home, work, and school that are on higher ground.
  • Ask an out-of-state relative or friend to be your emergency family contact.
  • Have a plan to protect your pets.

For more information on emergency preparation, talk to your insurance agent or visitReady.gov.

 

During A Flood

Here’s what you can do to stay safe during a flood:

  • If flooding occurs, go to higher ground and avoid areas subject to flooding.
  • Do not attempt to walk across flowing streams or drive through flooded roadways.
  • If water rises in your home before you evacuate, go to the top floor, attic, or roof.
  • Listen to a battery-operated radio for the latest storm information.
  • Turn off all utilities at the main power switch and close the main gas valve if advised to do so.
  • If you’ve come in contact with floodwaters, wash your hands with soap and disinfected water.

After A Flood

  • If your home has suffered damage, call your insurance agent to file a claim.
  • Check for structural damage before re-entering your home to avoid being trapped in a building collapse.
  • Take photos of any floodwater in your home and save any damaged personal property.
  • Make a list of damaged or lost items and include their purchase date and value with receipts, and place with the inventory you took prior to the flood. Some damaged items may require disposal, so keep photographs of these items.
  • Keep power off until an electrician has inspected your system for safety.
  • Boil water for drinking and food preparation until authorities tell you that your water supply is safe.
  • Prevent mold by removing wet contents immediately.
  • Wear gloves and boots to clean and disinfect. Wet items should be cleaned with a pine-oil cleanser and bleach, completely dried, and monitored for several days for any fungal growth and odors.

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Preparing for a Flood

Rain clouds have been obscuring our sunshine in Lexington and West Columbia for awhile now, but in Florida they have been dealing with a few more problems than a missed chance at a tan.
Floods have been upending the lives of many Floridians.

Though damage is unavoidable in flood situations there are some steps you can take to help avoid as much damage as possible to your home or business.
Before the Flood:
– Have a qualified professional elevate the furnace, water heater and electric panel if susceptible to flooding. -Install “check valves” in sewer traps to prevent flood water from backing up into the drains of your home or business. -Seal walls in basements with waterproofing compounds to help avoid seepage.
During the Flood:
-Turn off utilities at the main switches or valves if instructed to do so. -Disconnect electrical appliances. -Do not touch electrical equipment if you are wet or are standing in water. -Do not walk through moving water. Even six inches of moving water can make you fall.
After the Flood:
-Listen for news reports to learn if the community’s water supply is safe to drink. -Avoid floodwaters. Water may be contaminated by oil, gasoline or raw sewage. Water may also be electrically charged. -Stay out of any building if it is surrounded by floodwaters. -Return home only when authorities indicate it is safe.
Having flood damage in your home or business can be a difficult situation to deal with, but remember, your Servpro of Cayce/West Columbia/Lexington is here to help you 24/7. Call (803) 755-9774. We make it ‘Like it never even happened.’
– Heather Hinson
Photo Credit: http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/slideshow/ALeqM5gjeTaUfjsay1q40vd1GM-iQ9i1lg?docId=a9609d43eaec4c469d40324e3a68f755&index=12

Flood Tips

If a flood were to strike your home or business, would you be prepared? Below are some helpful tips to help minimize your loss  before the professionals at SERVPRO of Cayce/West Columbia & Lexington come to the rescue!

 

WHAT TO DO AFTER A CONTAMINATED WATER DAMAGE:

  • Avoid all contact with sewage and items contaminated by sewage.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly after contact with contaminated items.

WHAT NOT TO DO AFTER A CONTAMINATED WATER DAMAGE:

  • Don’t spread contaminated water by walking unnecessarily on damaged or wet areas.
  • Don’t turn on the HVAC system if there is a possibility of spreading contaminated air.
  • Don’t use household fans to dry the structure and spread contaminants.
  • Don’t use products for personal hygiene and cleanliness if exposed to the contaminated areas.

What to do after A CLEAN water damage:

  • Shut off the source of water if possible or contact a qualified party to stop the water source.
  • Turn off circuit breakers for wet areas of the building, when access to the power distribution panel is safe from electrical shock.
  • Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping and blotting.
  • Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removing lamps and tabletop items.
  • Remove and prop up wet upholstery cushions for even drying.
  • Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.
  • Remove to a safe, dry place any paintings, art objects, computers, documents and other materials that are valuable or sensitive to moisture.
  • Use wooden clothespins to keep furniture skirting off damp floors.
  • Hang draperies with coated hangers to avoid contact with wet carpeting or floors.
  • Hang furs and leather goods to dry separately at room temperature.

What NOT to do after A CLEAN water damage:

  • Don’t enter rooms with standing water where electrical shock hazards may exist.
  • Don’t enter affected areas if electrical outlets, switches, circuit breakers or electrical equipment are exposed to water. Always avoid electrical shock       hazards.
  • Don’t leave books, newspapers, magazines or other colored items on wet carpets or floors to cause staining.
  • Don’t leave Oriental rugs or other colored rugs on wet wall-to-wall carpets to cause staining.
  • Don’t use your household vacuum cleaner to remove water, possibly causing electrical shock or damage to the vacuum cleaner.
  • Don’t use TVs or other appliances while standing on wet carpets or floors, especially not on wet concrete floors.
  • Don’t turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet or enter rooms where ceilings are sagging from retained water.

Water Damage

It’s the water you don’t see that can cause the most damage. Professional restoration is just a phone call or click away.

SERVPRO of Cayce/West Columbia & Lexington  (803)-755-9774

EMERGENCY TIPS
We also have a mobile app. Available for iphone, Droid and BlackBerry!
App Store Android marketplace Blackberry App World

The SERVPRO Ready Plan is a tool for property managers and owners, both residential and commercial. It allows for the creation of an Emergency READY Profile containing critical facility information to help speed up response time after fire or water damage.

Learn more about the SERVPRO Ready Plan Mobile App

Photo Credit: www.prlog.org
-Denea Duran

12 Feet Above Flood Stage: Like It Never Even Happened

Over 13 inches of rain in the Cumberland River region, winds blasting through downtown Nashville, waters 12 feet above flood stage… this is the story of the Tennessee/Kentucky/Mississippi floods.

Sandy Hayden