Homeland Security and Emergency Services

Returning Home After the Flood

  • Stay informed! Listen to the radio or TV for instructions from local officials.
  • Wait until an area has been declared safe before entering it. Be careful driving, roads may be damaged and power lines may be down.
  • Stay away from downed power lines.
  • Before entering a building, check for structural damage. Turn off any outside gas lines at the meter or tank. Let the building air out to remove foul odors or escaping gases.
  • When entering the building, use a battery-powered flashlight. Do not use an open flame as a source of light. Gas may be trapped inside the structure.
  • When inspecting the building, wear rubber boots and gloves. Watch for electrical shorts and live wires before making certain the main power switch is off.
  • Do not turn on electrical appliances until an electrician has checked the system.
  • If for any reason you have turned off natural gas service to your home, call your natural gas utility to restore service. Do not attempt to restore gas service yourself.
  • Before you begin the cleanup process, document your damage. Safely take photos of all visible damage.
  • When pumping out basements, make sure that gas and electric service are off before starting to pump. The draining should not be done all at once. Instead, drain a third at a time to make sure the pressure difference does not cause the walls to buckle or collapse.