Flood Damage >> How To Protect A Home In A Flood Plain

Clothing and LinensEven if your washing machine didnot get wet, do not use it untilyou know that the water is safeenough to drink and that yoursewer line works. (Perhaps afriend or relative has a washingmachine you can use until yours isclean and working.) How To Protect A Home In A Flood Plain

Before you wash clothes in thewashing machine, run themachine through one full cycle.Be sure to use hot water and adisinfectant or sanitizer.Take clothes and linens outdoors and shake out dried mud or How To Protect A Home In A Flood Plain dirt before you wash them. Hoseoff muddy items to remove alldirt before you put them in thewasher. 

That way your drainwon't clog.Check the labels on clothes andlinens, and wash them in detergent and warm water if possible.Adding chlorine bleach to thewash cycle will remove mostmildew and How To Protect A Home In A Flood Plain will sanitize the clothing, but bleach fades some fabricsand damages other fabrics. 

Youcan buy other sanitizers, such aspine oil cleaners, How To Protect A Home In A Flood Plain at the grocerystore to sanitize fabrics that cannotbe bleached.If the label says "Dry CleanOnly," shake out loose dirt andtake the item to a professionalcleaner. 

Furs and leather items areusually worth the cost of professional cleaning. If you want toclean leather yourself, How To Protect A Home In A Flood Plain wash themud off and dry the leather slowlyaway from heat or sunlight.Kitchen itemsThrow out soft plastic and porousitems that probably absorbedwhatever the floodwaters carriedin. Floodwaters are contaminated,so you may want to wash dishesby hand in a disinfectant. 

Air drythe disinfected dishes; do not use adish towel.Like the washing machine, thedishwasher should also be usedonly after you know your water issafe to drink and your sewer lineworks. Clean and disinfect it first.Then use a hot setting to washyour pots, pans, dishes, and utensils. (If you have an energy savingsetting, do not use it.)

Food

Throw any food out that has beentouched by floodwaters. Evenfood in tin cans should be discarded if the cans got wet during theflood because there is no way to beabsolutely certain the food inside issafe. Do not keep food in bottlesor jars with bottle caps or screw onlids—they do not keep out floodwaters. How To Protect A Home In A Flood Plain

The U.S. Department ofAgriculture operates a food safety hotline. Professional home economistscan answer your questions aboutwhether to keep or discard food.Call 1-800-535-4555 between10:00 am and 4:00 pm, EasternTime, Monday through Friday.Paper and booksValuable papers such as books,photographs, How To Protect A Home In A Flood Plain and stamp collections can be restored with a greatdeal of effort. 

They can be rinsedand frozen (in a frost-free freezeror commercial meat locker) untilyou have time to work on them.A slightly less effective alternativeto preserving an item is to placeitems in a sealed container, How To Protect A Home In A Flood Plain such asa plastic bag, with moth crystals.

Papers should be dried quicklywhen they are thawed or unsealed(a blow dryer will do). Don't tryto force paper products apart, How To Protect A Home In A Flood Plain justkeep drying them. Photocopyvaluable papers and records soonbecause substances in the watermay make them deteriorate.

If a computer disk or tape hasvaluable information, rinse it inclear water and put it in a plasticbag in the refrigerator. Later, youcan take it to a professional dryingcenter and have the data transferred to a good disk or tape.Many companies that specialize inrestoring computers and How To Protect A Home In A Flood Plain computerrecords after a disaster are members of the Disaster RecoveryInstitute. 

To find a member company near you, How To Protect A Home In A Flood Plain you can all theInstitute at (314) 846-2007.The YardAs you get rid of things from yourhome, don't turn your yard into adump. Food and garbage must behauled away as soon as possible.

Other discarded items should beremoved as soon as your insuranceadjuster has told you how to makesure their loss is covered. Otherthings you throw away should beremoved as soon as your insuranceadjuster says it's okay. How To Protect A Home In A Flood Plain

Mosquitoes can carry manydiseases, and a flood can createidea conditions for them to breed.Drain or remove standing waterthat can become a breedingground. Dump water out ofbarrels, old tires, How To Protect A Home In A Flood Plain and cans. 

Checkthat your gutters are clean and candrain. Ditches and drains alsoneed to be cleaned so they cancarry stormwater away from yourhome.If you can't get rid of standingwater, How To Protect A Home In A Flood Plain use a commercial productthat kills mosquito larvae but doesnot harm other animals. 

A slightly less effective method is to applya thin film of cooking oil on thewater. Repeat the applicationwithin a few days after a rain hasdisturbed the film.The LawnLawns usually survive being underwater for up to four days. Saltwater should be hosed off the lawn and How To Protect A Home In A Flood Plain shrubs. Some grasses are notdamaged by saltwater flooding.

Check with your local nursery, garden store, or Cooperative ExtensionService. You may have to replacethe lawn if there was mud thickerthan one inch deep, erosion, How To Protect A Home In A Flood Plain or chemicals in the floodwaters.Further InformationYou will probably see moredetailed instructions on how toclean various contents in your localpaper or hear them on the radio orTV. 

Many Cooperative ExtensionService offices have more information, especially on animals, vegetables, landscape plants, and household items. Check your telephonebook under the name of yourcounty. For example, if you live inMontgomery County, How To Protect A Home In A Flood Plain look underMontgomery County CooperativeExtension Service. 

How much you rebuild andreplace depends on what youcan afford. Four sources of financialassistance can help you throughrecovery: insurance, governmentdisaster programs, voluntaryagencies, How To Protect A Home In A Flood Plain and businesses.

If you are fully insured (80 percentof the replacement cost of yourhome), you may only have to pay thedeductible and your flood insurancepolicy will pay for professionalcleaning and reconstruction. Evenif you are insured, How To Protect A Home In A Flood Plain the other sourcesof assistance can help with expensesthat your insurance policy doesn'tcover.

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