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Recovering from a flood: Safety concerns and flood insurance

Posted in Safety Tips,Uncategorized on August 22, 2017

Many homes and businesses are still recovering from the recent flooding in Marion County. Precautions should be taken for the safety and health hazards that come with flooded areas. Homeowners also need to review their insurance policies to see when or even they cover natural disasters, such as flooding.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention as well as the United States Environmental Protection Agency are both great sources for what steps a homeowner should take after their home is flooded. The US EPA also provides direction and steps on how to avoid raw sewage contamination, water-borne bacteria, securing septic systems and private wells, as well as how to clean a home to prevent toxic mold growth.

Some of the precautions that the CDC recommends when cleaning up after a flood include the following:

  • Thoroughly clean and disinfect household surfaces. Use 1 cup of bleach to 5 gallons of water as a disinfectant. Large items, like couches, may be air dried in the sun then thoroughly sprayed with a disinfectant.
  • Get your tetanus booster. It’s not common to get a disease after a flood, but if you were to get cut cleaning around the contaminated water, your chances of becoming ill are much higher.
  • Avoid swift moving water. Even shallow water can be deadly, especially for young children.
  • Use extreme caution if you find any chemical hazards which have been buried or moved during the flood.

The majority of homeowner’s insurance policies do not cover natural disasters. Some companies will require you to purchase additional coverage for hurricanes, flooding, and earthquakes. While other insurance companies may not offer coverage at all. There are federal programs like the National Flood Insurance Program that may be able to assist homeowners in the event of a flood.

Flooding is an unfortunate natural disaster that can happen anywhere. Do your best to be prepared in the event of a natural disaster to keep yourself and your family safe. If you were affected by the recent flood in Marion County, you can reach out to the Marion County Homeland Security & Emergency Management for any assistance.