Would you know what to do or where to begin if you found that your home was in danger of flooding?  Many homeowners don’t think about flooding or believe that the probability that a flood will affect them is slim.  The truth of the matter is that floods have become one of the most common natural hazards to affect homeowners throughout the United States.  Localized flooding, from events such as water freezing and thawing, can affect smaller contained areas such as neighborhoods or smaller communities.  General flooding can occur from events such as constant rain or torrential downpours which can flood entire water systems throughout multiple states.

Flooding is a common occurrence.  They can occur no matter where you live but are more common if you live in low-lying areas, near water or downstream from a dam.  Concern yourself with flooding if your home is located by small streams, gullies, creeks, culverts, dry streambeds or low-lying dry ground that appear harmless.  If you find that a flood is imminent there are a few things that homeowners can do to prepare.

Electricity and water mixed together are a deadly combination.   The possibility of electrocution during a flood is high.  In order to prevent this from occurring homeowners should turn off and unplug all electrical appliances, utilities and components powered using electricity.  Homeowners should locate the homes circuit breaker and shut off the main breakers.  This will shut the electricity off throughout the entire home.  Never touch any electrical appliance or electrical component when you are wet or if you are standing in water.  Do not risk electrocution.  Even if the electrical power is shut off if an appliance is not unplugged it can still contain a power current that can cause harm.

Never walk through water that is moving.  The current in just six inches of moving water can cause homeowners to fall.  Locate an area where the water is not moving.  Use something long and firm to test the ground in front of you before you step.  In a flood your homes floors can become weak which can lead to a collapse.

Flood water is always contaminated.  Once flood water has entered your home the area is then contaminated as well.  Homeowners must clean and disinfect everything.  Electrical appliances should never be reconnected even after they have been clean and disinfected until water is no longer present.  Appliances and main electrical supplies should also be inspected by professional electricians before the homes power supply is re-established through the circuit breaker.

Flooding can affect anyone, anywhere at any time.  Homeowners should be prepared if flood conditions exist and should know what to do to protect themselves and their families.

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