DISASTER QUICK TIPS:
BASIC HOME RE-ENTRY
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Fact Sheets for Disasters: Basic Home Re-Entry
Before entering a building that has been flooded, take care to be safe.
Watch for loose plaster, drywall, and ceilings that could fall.
Wear sturdy shoes
Cut feet are the most common wound after a disaster.
Use battery-powered lights
Use battery-powered lights or flashlights if you need light for a short time.
Look for fire hazards
Fire is the most common hazard after floods. Look for:
- Broken or leaking gas lines;
- Flooded electrical wires;
- Furnaces and electrical appliances that are under water;
- Items that can catch fire or explode.
Check for gas leaks
If you smell gas or hear a blowing or hissing noise:
- Quickly leave the building;
- Turn off the gas at the outside main valve if you can; and
- Call the gas company from a remote location.
If you turn off the gas for any reason, a professional must turn it back on.
Look for electrical damage
DO NOT step in water:
- If you see sparks, broken or frayed wires;
- Smell burning insulation; or
- To turn off the electricity.
Call an electrician to help. If you can safely reach the fuse box or circuit breaker, turn off the electricity.
Pump out basement water slowly
Pump floodwater out of a basement slowly. Pump about one-third of the water each day to avoid damage to basement walls. Pressure from water in the soil outside the walls can break walls if you pump too fast.
Note: This information has been excerpted and adapted from a 56-page booklet from the Red Cross, available in two languages: