A major storm that results in flooding can be one of the most devastating events that can happen in a person’s life. With some degree of luck, you’ll never end up in a situation in which you experience a tremendous storm that results in massive flooding issues at your home. With that said, the reality is that even smaller weather events can result in storm flooding. Another reality is that the aftermath of a storm that results in flooding is challenging in its own right. There are a number of issues that you need to be aware of and understand when it comes to the challenging aftermath of a storm that results in flooding at your home or business.
Confirm Structural Integrity
When it comes to the challenges associated with the aftermath of storm flooding, a key initial step that you must take is to confirm the general structural integrity of your home or other structure that was in the pathway of a storm flood. You need to fully understand that a flood arising as the result of a storm can cause serious structural damage to a structure. The wellbeing of everyone involved in a storm flood cleanup needs to be assured that the structure of a building undergoing flood remediation is in a stable and generally safe structural condition.
Understand the Inherent Dangers of Flood Water
Flood water can contain a variety of different dangerous pathogens capable of causing illness, including serious illness. As part of fully understanding the challenging aftermath of storm flooding, you need to have a basic understanding of the potential health risks that can be associated with flood water.
There are a number of gastrointestinal illnesses that can occur after exposure to flood water. Examples of pathogens that can be found in flood water include:
- E. coli
Among the most dangerous illnesses that can be contracted through contaminated flood water include:
- Typhoid fever
Obtain Proper Personal Protective Equipment
You must have appropriate personal protective equipment when it comes to flood water cleanup. This PPE includes:
- Appropriate face mask or respirator
- Protective eyewear
- Sturdy gloves
- Work boots (rubber work boots)
- Protective uniform or smock
Identify and Map Storm Cleanup Issues
You need to develop a comprehensive, coordinated strategy to effectively undertake storm flood water cleanup. Before commencing the actual cleanup effort, you need to identify particular problem areas in a building. You need to map out the structure so that you identify different aspects associated with the premises and what specifically will need to be done when it comes to flood cleanup at different points on the property.
You are best served committing cleanup issues and a map of the premises “to writing.” This can be done the old school way with paper and pen. It can also be undertaken in digital form. This particularly is necessary when multiple people will be involved in flood cleanup, which is nearly always the case.
Prevent Mold Growth
An important element of addressing the aftermath of storm flooding is taking a proactive stance to prevent mold growth. At the heart of preventing mold growth is cleaning up after a storm flood in the most expeditious manner possible. Ideally, storm cleanup is accomplished within a 24 to 48 hour time frame, if at all possible. The need for rapidly undertaking and completing storm flood cleanup is best accomplished by engaging the services of a flood remediation professional.
The prospects of preventing mold growth are enhanced if the property is immediately aired out by opening doors and windows whenever possible. In addition, fans should be used to accelerate the rate of drying at the premises.
You need to be diligent in identifying items that can’t be cleaned or dried quickly. These include mattresses, carpeting, rugs, upholstered furniture, pillows, books, stuffed animals, wall coverings, and a range of other similar types of items.
Any leaks that have occurred in the roof, walls, ceiling, foundation, and elsewhere need to be repaired as soon as possible. The same holds true for any damage to the plumbing system at a flood-damaged property.
Make Sure Your Tetanus Shot Is Current
Before undertaking storm flooding cleanup, it is vital that anyone involved in the process have a current tetanus vaccine. What this means is that a person involved in storm flood cleanup should have been given a tetanus shot within the past 10 years. If that is not the case, a tetanus vaccine needs to be obtained before a person becomes involved in storm flood cleanup.
By paying attention to these various issues, you will be in the best possible position to keep safe during the storm flooding remediation process. As was mentioned previously, the complicated and truly difficult nature of storm flooding cleanup warrants the need to engage the services of a professional in many instances.