The events unfolding in Houston this week have likely made proactive homeowners all across the USA consider what they would do if severe flooding impacted their area. Even as far as Elizabethtown, PA, you should be aware of what steps you need to take if water enters your home unexpectedly, or even with a prior warning. The storm damage cleanup professionals with ServiceMaster Fire and Water Cleanup want you and your family to be safe and prepared for whatever may come your way, whether it be this year, next year, or ten years down the line.
If there’s a major storm coming your way and you still have time to prepare, make sure all of your vital documents and insurance information are available and in a safe place. Take pictures of your home for insurance purposes if you haven’t already, and do some minor research into storm damage cleanup services and debris cleanup services in your area. At the very least, you’ll have all of this information if your home is impacted, and you won’t have to scramble for paperwork in an emergency. These are also great steps to take even if there isn’t a storm in your area. Just like having a home fire plan, having a home flood plan in place can prevent grief in the future in a major way.
In the event that water has entered your home or is about to enter your home, and if it is still safe to do so, turn off the breaker as soon as possible. Floodwater alone is dangerous enough without adding a current to the mix. Electricity and flood water can lead to catastrophic fires thanks to oils and other materials that may be present in the floods. If a fire occurs, debris cleanup experts and storm damage cleanup experts can assist you, but remove yourself from the site of the fire as quickly as possible. For this reason and more, whenever possible try to avoid direct contact with flood water. Floodwater can also contain biohazards and unseen dangers such as sharp objects or items you can be caught on or under. If the water is rising quickly and you cannot exit your home, try to reach your roof and, if at all possible, don’t go into your attic. The roof will allow visibility for rescue whereas there may not be an easy escape from an enclosed attic. If you must go into your attic bring an axe or large blunt object that you can use to break onto the roof as a last resort.
Finally, after the floodwaters have receded, you’ll need to strip down to the basics. Furniture, upholstery, and insulation will likely need to be removed to prevent molding and further damage. For some levels of damage, this may mean gutting all of the porous materials from the house. For less damage, you may just be able to pull up the carpet and replace furniture. This process can be done with the assistance of storm damage cleanup professionals who will be able to assist you with the inside and outside of your home. Similarly, debris cleanup experts will be able to help you remove unsalvageable items and damaged portions of your home.
When all is said and done, it’s important to remember that you’re not alone. If you or your family in Elizabethtown, PA, have been impacted by floodwaters, feel free to seek out more information from FEMA and the Red Cross. For assistance with restoration, the storm damage cleanup professionals with ServiceMaster Fire and Water Cleanup are also prepared to help you get back on your feet and put your home on the road to recovery. For more information on debris cleanup or home restoration, contact ServiceMaster Fire and Water Clean Up at (717) 299-2261 or visit our website here