Returning Home After a Flood

In addition to heavy snowfall, this weekend’s monstrous winter storm brought coastal flooding to parts of southern New Jersey. There are steps families returning home following the storm can take to keep them safer while inspecting and cleaning up the damage to their homes. Before traveling, ensure local officials have declared that it’s safe to enter your community.

When returning home:

  • Before entering your home, look outside for loose power lines, damaged gas lines, foundation cracks or other damage.
  • If you smell natural or propane gas or hear a hissing noise, leave immediately and call the fire department.
  • If power lines are down outside your home, do not step in puddles or standing water.
  • Keep children and pets away from hazardous sites and floodwater.
  • Materials such as cleaning products, paint, batteries, contaminated fuel and damaged fuel containers are hazardous. Check with local authorities for assistance with disposal to avoid risk.
  • During cleanup, wear protective clothing, including rubber gloves and rubber boots.
  • Make sure your food and water are safe. Discard items that have come in contact with floodwater, including canned goods, water bottles, plastic utensils and baby bottle nipples. When in doubt, throw it out!
  • Contact your local or state public health department to see if your water supply might be contaminated. You may need to boil or treat it before use. Do not use water that could be contaminated to wash dishes, brush teeth, prepare food, wash hands, make ice or make baby formula.

For more information, download the Red Cross Returning Home After Hurricane or Flood Checklist or visit redcross.org.

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