Damage Assessment

 
• Have a fire extinguisher readily available in the case of a fire.
• Watch for safety hazards (loose boards, slippery floors, broken glass, etc.)
• Carefully check for damage to the roof, foundation and chimney. If the building looks unstable do not enter.
• Use a stick or other tool to sift through debris.
• Open cabinets cautiously. Beware of objects that can fall off shelves.
• If you smell natural gas, leave the structure and contact your local gas utility company.
• Use a battery powered flashlight to inspect the structure. Do not use oil or gas lanterns or candles inside the structure.
• If structural damage is present, turn off utilities.
• Do not use electrical appliances that have been wet/damaged
until checked by a professional.
• Check with local authorities or have well water tested before using any water (could be contaminated).
• Until cleared with authorities or tested, all water should be boiled for one minute at a rolling boil to disinfect before drinking.
• Avoid using any toilets until you have checked for sewage or water line damage. If you suspect damage call a plumber.
• Service damaged sewage systems as soon as possible as they present serious health hazards (septic tanks, pits, etc.)
• Check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to ensure they are functioning properly.
• If any damage is identified to your home, contact your insurance company to start a claim.
• Photograph and document any damage.
• Throw away any spoiled food items or those that have come in contact with flood waters. When in doubt throw it out!