During a Storm
- Ensure water does not come in contact with electric panels, outlets or electric appliances.
- Unplug appliances if they’re threatened by water. Pay special attention to washers and dryers, which have motors located in the bottom of the appliance.
- If the water level rises high enough to threaten the electrical panel, turn off power to the building.
- Clear downspouts of debris or snow that impedes the flow of water from the roof.
Sewage backup in the home
Flooding may cause wastewater to back up into homes. Sewage contains disease-causing microorganisms. Take proper precautions and follow basic hygiene practices in this case.
Check on others
Check on relatives, friends and neighbors, especially those who are elderly or at risk, to ensure they’re safe.
- Do not drive into standing water. If floodwaters rise around your car, abandon the car and move to higher ground if you can do so safely. You and the vehicle can be quickly swept away.
- Six inches of water will reach the bottom of most passenger cars, causing loss of control and possible stalling.
- A foot of water will float many vehicles .
- Two feet of rushing water can carry away most vehicles including SUVs and pick-ups.
Other flood condition cautions
- Do not walk through moving water. Six inches of moving water can make you fall.
- If you have to walk in water, walk where the water is not moving. Use a stick to check the firmness of the ground in front of you. Standing water can hide missing sewer covers and can pose great risk of injury.
- Keep your tetanus shot up-to-date.
- Use good hygiene techniques if you come in contact with flood waters. Wash your hands and take a shower when you are able to do so. Do not drink the water.
After a Storm
Food & water
- Throw out any perishable food in your refrigerator if your power outage lasts more than four hours.
- Use bottled, boiled, or treated water for drinking, cooking, and personal hygiene. Learn more on the CDC website.
- Protect yourself with rubber boots and waterproof gloves. Disease-causing microorganisms can enter the body through the eyes, nose, mouth, and cuts and abrasions.
- Remove and discard contaminated household goods such as wall coverings, rugs, cloth, and drywall that cannot be disinfected.
- Always wash your hands with soap and water following the cleanup or handling of articles contaminated with sewage.
- Small children, pregnant women and people with health problems should stay out of affected areas until cleanup is complete.
- Protect yourself and your family by adhering to these helpful power generator guidelines.
- Some water-damaged items may require a special pick-up. Regular trash pick-up may handle other materials. Learn more about trash.
- Mold and Mildew: A Brief Guide to Mold, Moisture, and Your Home from the EPA
Major home damage
- Arlington’s Homeowner’s Guide to Home Repairs
- Insurance tips: Do you have storm damage and need to make an insurance claim? The Virginia State Corporation Commission’s Bureau of Insurance has some tips to think about when preparing to and contacting your insurance company.
- Disaster Recovery Advice from Virginia Emergency Management
- Learn more at the floodsmart.gov.
With flooding also comes the increased likelihood of mosquitoes. Follow these helpful tips from: