Flash Flood Safety Tips | How to Stay Safe in a Flash Flood | 2021
Flash floods can be dangerous events, so it’s important to have a plan in advance. Let’s look at some basic safety steps for you and your family.
The power of a flood can be overwhelming. It’s easy to take for granted just how powerful water can be – until it is running uncontrolled in an area where it is not usually seen. A fire may look more dramatic when it sweeps through an area, but a flood has the potential to do just as much damage.
Not only can floods devastate property and destroy belongings, but they can also endanger lives. As is always the case with a natural disaster, your first concern during a flood should be for your own safety and the safety of those around you. Let’s take a look at some flood safety basics in this post.
Don’t Underestimate the Danger
The danger of a fire tearing through your home is obvious, and you can also understand the threat posed by a falling tree in a windstorm. But you might not take seriously the grave danger posed by floods, since it seems like there would be time to avoid rising water as it moves in.
That simply isn’t the case. In fact, it’s not uncommon for more than 100 people to die in the United States in a given year during floods and flash floods. This is always a serious situation when it takes place, and it is something that can turn fatal in a hurry if the right precautions are not taken.
Acquire Knowledge in Advance
If your house is located in a flood zone, it’s important to do some planning and learning in advance of any flooding threats taking place. Investing a little bit of time and effort to learn the basics of how floods work in your area can go a long way toward improving your safety.
Here are some points to consider during this process –
- Determine where higher ground is located near your home and how you could quickly reach that area in the event of a flood.
- Make sure everyone in the family understands where higher ground is and how you plan to get there.
- Create a list of essential items that need to be taken with you in the case of such an evacuation. Things like important documents and essential medicines should be on that list.
- Create an emergency kit with water and non-perishable food that can be stored in a specific spot in your home.
That list might look intimidating, but you could actually work through those points rather quickly. There will be significant peace of mind available in knowing that you have prepared for a flood and are ready to act should such an event take place.
What to Do Before a Flood
There is a good chance that you will have at least some warning before a flood takes place. By paying attention to the local weather forecasts, you’ll know when significant rains are going to move into the area, and you’ll hear that a flood is possible.
During those times, you should stay tuned to the news through the TV or radio, and you should be taking some steps to prepare to leave, if necessary. Specifically, you can gather up your medications and documents, and make sure the bag you packed for this kind of emergency is ready to go.
Also, if it seems likely that you will need to evacuate in the coming hours, take some time to prepare your home for this event (as long as you have time to do so safely). These steps can include closing all of the doors and windows, boarding up the ground floor, and shutting down the electricity and gas.
What to Do During a Flood
Ideally, you will have enough time to depart your home in a vehicle and get to higher ground before the floodwaters move in. It’s always better to play it safe in a situation like this and evacuate prematurely than to wait too long. After all, if you evacuate and the flood never materializes, you lose very little. On the other hand, if you wait too long and can’t get away, you can lose everything.
If you are unable to evacuate your property before the flood arrives, getting to the highest point possible should be your next goal. That might mean getting to the attic or roof, or even going up in a tree. Surviving flood waters is not the same as swimming in a pool – there are powerful currents and dangerous debris to deal with, and the possibility of live electricity. You want to stay out of the water if at all possible, so get as high as you can right away. If it’s possible to call for help, do so, and keep an eye out for others that may need assistance.
What to Do After a Flood
The damage left behind after a flood can be shocking. If you spend time away from your property while the floodwaters came and went, returning to see the damage is a potentially traumatic experience. As much as you might be anxious to go inside and see what damage has been done, always wait for the building to be deemed safe by a professional before you proceed.
Everything will need to be thoroughly aired out after a flood has moved through your home. The formation of mold is highly likely in this situation, so work with professionals such as the team at Lawton Construction and Restoration, Inc. to take whatever steps are necessary to make your home safe and livable once again.
The Lawton Difference
With decades of experience in this industry, Lawton Construction and Restoration, Inc. is the right choice to start the recovery process after a flood. Dealing with water damage properly is a task that requires the right tools and the right experience, and we possess both of those things. During such a stressful time of life, it will be comforting to know that a knowledgeable and professional team is working hard to restore your home after the floodwaters have moved on.
We’d love to help you deal with this traumatic event, so feel free to give us a call right away for a quote or to learn more. You can also fill out the form here on our site and we will be in touch shortly.
8 Essential Steps to Recover from Fire Damage | 2021
Fires are a serious threat to California homeowners, and that threat has only increased in recent years. Here’s a guide to a safe and prompt recovery.
Unfortunately, fire damage has become a common issue for homeowners throughout California. In fact, six of the 20 largest California wildfires on record occurred in 2020. If your home is impacted by fire, you are going to have many more questions than answers in the aftermath.
In this post, we’d like to offer a step-by-step plan for recovering from fire damage. Of course, your steps may vary depending on the situation, but this should be a good starting point.
Step #1 – Be Safe
The most important thing to consider regarding a fire is your safety. If there is a wildfire in your area, listen to messages from government officials and be ready to evacuate, if necessary. The safety of yourself and your family should always be the top priority in this kind of situation.
If you do have to evacuate, only return to your home when it has been deemed safe to do so. Resources are often available from government and charity organizations to help those who are displaced by a fire.
Step #2 – Structural Stability
In the aftermath of a fire, you may be relieved to see that your home is still standing. If that is the case, don’t simply head inside to check out the damage for yourself. That may be a dangerous situation. Instead, get the help of a professional team to evaluate the structural integrity of your home.
Only when the house has been cleared by a professional should you feel comfortable going inside to review the damage and plan the next steps. It’s possible that a home that is still standing will need to be torn down once the damage is reviewed. That’s not an ideal outcome, of course, but it’s better to be safe than to risk having your home collapse while someone is inside.
Step #3 – Air Quality Issues
Fire damage can leave behind things like soot and fungus that can create dangerous air quality conditions inside of a house. It’s possible that some of these things will be out of sight, so the threat might not be obvious at first. Even if the air smells okay, there may still be a threat lurking that could impact your health over time.
This is another area where it’s best to get professional help in determining the safety of the building. You can have the air quality tested to look for any threats, and then work can be done to mitigate whatever issues are discovered. It’s best to confront these issues right away than to wait and have problems come up years down the road.
Step #4 – Review Your Belongings
It is possible that some of your belongings will survive the fire. It’s also likely that you won’t be able to restore some of your things. Going through the process of sorting out what can be saved and what should be thrown away is important. Consider using a three ‘pile’ system to organize your belongings –
- The first pile is items that are obviously in good condition and can be saved
- The second pile is for things that are too badly damaged and need to be disposed of properly
- The last pile is for items in the middle that need a closer examination to determine whether they should stay or go
For those things that are somewhat damaged but not destroyed, work with restoration professionals to determine if they can be saved. You might be surprised to find what can be saved with the right equipment and experience on your side.
Step #5 – Examination of Utilities
The utility lines that serve your home are another item that will need to be inspected. For example, have your water lines been damaged? Even if the water is working, there might be damage to the line which is allowing the water to be contaminated.
So much of what you need to do after a fire comes back to safety. Making sure your home is still a safe place to live is the primary focus. And, since many of these things are hard to evaluate on your own, professional help is often needed. Work with the right teams to check on the condition of all utilities around your property.
Step #6 – Disposal of All Perishables
Simply put, you should toss out all perishable items after you return to your home. Fires can put all kinds of dangerous chemicals into the air, and there is no way to know what got into your food. It’s not worth the risk to eat some of these items, even if they look undamaged. Don’t hesitate to toss out all perishables and start over.
Step #7 – Deep Cleaning
A regular house cleaning procedure is not going to get the job done after a fire. The tools used to traditionally clean a house are not powerful enough to recover from fire damage. For this task, you’ll need professional-grade equipment operated by experienced workers in this field.
Among the important areas to target for deep cleaning are carpets, linens, couches, etc. Anything with a soft surface will need a thorough cleaning if it is to be saved. This is another area where you can’t trust your eyes alone to decide if something needs to be cleaned. In the aftermath of a fire, it’s best to assume that everything in your home needs to be addressed.
Step #8 – Work with Lawton
At Lawton Construction & Restoration, Inc., we offer everything you need to work through the fire restoration process. We have a talented team of professionals, the right equipment, and plenty of experience. We know how traumatic this event can be, and we want to help you get back on your feet as soon as possible.
To get started, simply contact us today. Fill out our form to request a free quote or give us a call to speak with a member of our team. Thank you for considering Lawton Construction & Restoration, Inc. for this important task.