In Case of Flood
Preparing for a flood and knowing what to do during a flood event is very important to the safety of yourself, your family, and to minimize the possible damages. After the event, it helps you to get your life back to normal as fast as possible.
Preparing for a Flood
- Create an emergency preparedness kit with a 72-hour supply of water, including three gallons per person.
- Scan and store important documents on an online, cloud-based program.
- Put important documents and valuables in a water-proof container on the top floor of your home.
- Understand how to safely turn off electricity and gas lines in your home.
- Create an inventory of your household items and take photos of the interior and exterior of your home.
- Consider installing sewer backflow valves to prevent flood water from backing up into your home through drainpipes.
- Double-check sump pumps to ensure they are working properly. If possible, have a battery backup system.
- Keep materials like sandbags, plywood, plastic sheeting and lumber handy for emergency waterproofing.
- Find out how many feet your property is above and below flood levels. When predicted flood levels are broadcast, you can determine if you may be flooded.
- Rise or flood-proof heating, ventilating and air conditioning equipment by elevating equipment above areas prone to flooding. Another method is to leave equipment where it is and build a concrete or masonry block flood wall around it.
- Anchor fuel tanks. Unanchored fuel tanks can be easily moved by floodwaters.
During a Flood
- Turn off utilities if instructed to do so. Disconnect all electrical equipment.
- Do not walk-through moving water. Six inches is enough water to knock you down.
- Do not drive in flooded areas. Six inches of water can cause you to lose control and two feet of water can sweep away your car. Remember: Turn around, don’t drown.
- Listen to local media reports for information about if the water supply is safe to drink.
- Avoid contacting flood waters because they can be contaminated by hazardous liquids and may contain sharp debris.
- Report and stay 25 feet away from downed power lines.
Driving in Flood Conditions
- Six inches of water will reach the bottom of most passenger cars causing loss of control and stalling. A foot of water will float many vehicles.
- Two feet of rushing water can carry away most vehicles including sport utility vehicles (SUVs) and pickups trucks.
- Do not attempt to drive through a flooded road. The depth of water is not always obvious. The roadbed may be washed out under the water, and you could be stranded or trapped.
- Do not drive around a barricade. Barricades are there for your protection. Turn around and go the other way.
- Do not try to take short cuts—they may be blocked. Stick to designated routes.
- Be especially cautious driving at night when it is harder to recognize flood dangers.
After a Flood
- Immediately document any damage caused by the flood.
- Contact your insurance company.
- Visit the City of Westland website for any information associated with the flood along with assistance programs, if available.
- Check FEMA and other government agencies for assistance programs.
In case of a disaster, there are many programs and organizations designed to assist you in those times of need.
If you are in need of disaster assistance, you can always reach out to the following organizations for help:
- Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) Helpline - 1-800-621-3362 (TTY: 800-462-7585)
- Red Cross Emergency Assistance Helpline - 1-800-RED-CROSS
Clean Up After a Flood
The following are CLEAN-UP TIPS provided as a recommendation to assist with cleanup efforts:
*After the waters have receded, flush out and disinfect plumbing fixtures before resuming normal use.
*Avoid flushing toilets or using other water connected to appliances or fixtures. The discharge from these items may back up into the basement.
*The cleanup and drying of the basement should occur as quickly as possible to minimize mold and risk of problems.
*Clean appliances and/or ductwork. If electric motors, wiring or insulation have been saturated, have a qualified service technician remove the motor, dry it, and inspect for damage before plugging it back in and turning it on.
*Discard or properly wash and disinfect toys, clothing and other contaminated objects.
*Do not attempt to stop the flow of sewer back up through the floor drain or any other sewer drain. Any added obstruction could cause serious damage to your household drainage system and possibly a catastrophic rupture of the household sewer drainage system.
*Do not track sewage from the basement into the living areas of the house.
*Do not use any electrical equipment while standing in water.
*Do not use heat to dry closed building interiors; mildew and expanded water damage may result
*If a dishwasher, washing machine, shower, bathtub, toilet or other water fixture is operating shut it off immediately.
*If your basement walls are finished with drywall, all the areas contacted by water must be removed and disposed of within 24 hours. Once these items get wet, they retain moisture long enough to grow mold. Removing the wallboard also allows air to circulate around the wood studs so that they dry completely and will not need to be replaced.
*Keep children and animals out of the affected area.
*Move any uncontaminated property away from the affected areas.
*Operate wet vacuums only when plugged into a ground fault circuit interrupter or ground fault equipped outlet.
*Potential health and safety hazards must be identified and eliminated prior to implementing cleaning or restoration procedures. Before entering the affected area the potential for electrical shock hazards and gas leaks must be assessed.
*Remove and discard upholstered furniture and porous wood furniture stained by sewage.
*Sanitize and clean hardwood furniture, then thoroughly wipe, dry and apply an oil-based wood polish.
*Sanitize and repair, or remove and discard, paneling, wallboard or wall coverings.
*Treat all water soaked surfaces, furnishings and items as contaminated until properly cleaned & sanitized.
*Turn off the gas (or other fuel sources) to your furnace or heater and hot water heater.
*Unplug all electrical appliances, small electrical devices on the wet floor covering or other wet areas and turn off the circuit breakers supplying the electricity to affected areas.
*Ventilate the affected area with floor fans and a dehumidifier, if available, to properly dry the area. If it has not been directly contacted by water, activate the building’s heating, ventilation and doors when conditions are favorable.
*Wear protective clothing such as rubber boots, gloves and eye protection during cleanup and removal. To remove gloves turn them inside out, without touching the contaminated exterior.
*Dispose of them properly.
*Wet-vacuum to remove spillage.