Things to Do After a Flood

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It was late in the afternoon of September 7 when it happened in Denver. A devastating storm caused mudslide from Clear Creek Canyon. This was followed by flash flooding. The flooding immobilized vehicles on certain roads. Rescuers came to the aid of at least two individuals stranded in their sunken car. Before this natural disaster, another one took place back in July 2019.

Fortunately, on both occasions you were safe. Your house was also safe. You made sure that your house’s concrete foundation is strong and can withstand heavy storms. But you wonder about families whose houses have been completely submerged underwater following a flash flood. Standing up again and dealing with all the repairs would be both emotionally and financially draining.

What do you do after being hit by a destructive flood?

A Look at History

Be warned! More people die during flash floods compared to any other weather-related natural disasters. Storm systems that are moving at a slow pace, drag with it heavy rains. The excessive rainfall and the duration of the rain bring about flash flooding. The rushing water can destroy almost anything in its path, whether it be trees or massive infrastructures like buildings.

In 2017, 116 people died because of floods. National Geographic estimates that the cost of damages annually is roughly $8 billion.

heavily flooded streets after a storm

What Can You Do?

The damage is done. You and your family are safe. It’s easier said than done, but you need to start picking up the pieces immediately after. Here are some things that you should do:

  1. Health Comes First. Debris lying around. Water is still ankle-deep inside the house. You need to focus on staying healthy and avoid contamination, especially if there are children. Do not consume anything that has come in contact with floodwaters. Dispose of it immediately. People have survived floods, but many still die because they got infected by bacteria, viruses or parasites found in floodwaters. You can easily get infected if you have an open cut or wound. Cover them up properly or avoid the floodwater entirely.  Help the family by doing other tasks.
  2. Stay Connected. It’s important to continue monitoring the situation. Assign someone in the family to monitor information broadcasted or streamed on the internet. Take advantage of the assistance provided by response teams, which can include safe water to drink and food to eat. Let your family and friends know about your status.
  3. Be on Guard. Watch out for scammers. You’ve already lost enough. Do not allow yourself to be fooled by unscrupulous individuals or companies offering their cleanup services. Some just want your money but do not have the true capability to provide the necessary services.
  4. Insurance. You will be dealing with plenty of action items and all at the same time. It’s easy to be overwhelmed. But if you have insurance, don’t forget to call your insurance company as one of your action points. It’s better to get the ball rolling early, as the investigations and the processing of possible claims do take time.

Stay focused and healthy for the weeks and months to follow during this recovery period. Work with your family members and have them take on different responsibilities. Be alert always. These are just the key things you can do to move on after the disaster.

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