JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – When flood waters recede, the damage left behind can be devastating and present many dangers.
However, what you can’t see can be just as dangerous. Floodwaters often become contaminated with sewage or chemicals. Gas leaks and live power lines can be deadly but are not obvious at first glance.
Here are some tips from the National Weather Service:
- Stay Informed: Stay tuned to your local news for updated information on road conditions. Ensure water is safe to drink, cook or clean with after a flood. Authorities may ask you to boil water for a while after a flood. Utility companies often have apps to update you on getting service back. Carbon monoxide poisoning is one of the leading causes of death after storms when areas are dealing with power outages. Never use a portable generator inside your home or garage. Review generator safety.
- Avoid Flood Waters: Standing water hides many dangers including toxins and chemicals. There may be sharp objects under the water or the road could have collapsed. If it is likely your home will flood, don’t wait for an evacuation order, get out! Talk to friends and family about emergency visits. If you have pets, take them with you or get them somewhere safe
- Avoid Disaster Areas: Do not visit disaster areas. Your presence may hamper rescue and other emergency operations.
- Heed Road Closed and Cautionary Signs: Road closure and other cautionary signs are put in place for your safety. Pay attention to them!
- Wait for the All Clear: Do not enter a flood-damaged home or building until you’re given the All Clear by authorities. If you enter a flood-damaged building, be extremely careful. Water can cause floods to collapse, ceilings to fall, etc. Make sure the electrical system has been turned off. Have the power company or a qualified electrician fix wires. Contact your insurance agent to discuss property damage. If you have a generator, follow proper safety procedures.
- Contact Your Family and Loved Ones: Let your family and close friends know that you’re okay so they can help spread the word. Register with or search the American Red Cross’s Safe and Well listing.