Once the Water Recedes

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Release date: 
May 12, 2003
Release Number: 
1455-59

Charleston, WV - Flood dangers do not end when the water begins to recede, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) that has been working with West Virginia Office of Emergency Services (WVOES) because of the mid-February storm.

With its history of flooding, West Virginians need to know what to do after the flood.

After The Flood
Listen to a radio or television and don't return home until authorities indicate it is safe to do so.

Remember to help your neighbors who may require special assistance--infants, elderly people and people with disabilities.

  • If your home, apartment or business has suffered damage, call the insurance company or agent who handles your flood insurance policy right away to file a claim.
  • Before entering a building, inspect foundations for cracks or other damage. Don't go in if there is any chance of the building collapsing.
  • Upon entering the building, don't use matches, cigarette lighters or any other open flames, because gas may be trapped inside. Instead, use a flashlight to light your way.
  • Keep power off until an electrician has inspected your system for safety.
  • Floodwaters pick up sewage and chemicals from roads, farms and factories. If your home has been flooded, protect your family's health by cleaning up your house right away. Throw out foods and medicines that may have met floodwater.
  • Until local authorities proclaim your water supply to be safe, boil water for drinking and food preparation vigorously for five minutes before using.
  • Be careful walking around. After a flood, steps and floors are often slippery with mud and covered with debris, including nails and broken glass.
  • Take steps to reduce your risk of future floods. Make sure to follow local building codes and ordinances when rebuilding, and use flood-resistant materials and techniques to protect yourself and your property from future flood damage.
Last Updated: 
July 16, 2012 - 18:46
State/Tribal Government or Region: 
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