Home disasters happen when you least expect it.  If you live in Maui and were in the middle of your Christmas shopping yesterday only to find that your home was affected by the record rainfall in Kahului, we’ve got some tips on what to do in the first 24 hours following a flood.

Flood disasters happen when you least expect it. Because Maui is no stranger to flooding after heavy rains like this past December’s record rainfall that left much of Kahului under water, we’ve got some helpful tips on what to do in the first 24 hours following a flood if your home is affected.

Whether the flooding is caused by overflowing ground water (like an overflowing nearby stream or a flooded road), heavy rains or a home water system malfunction, these tips are meant to keep you and your family safe while also providing you the best outcome to protect your home and minimize damages.

Minimizing Additional Risks

-Before returning to your property following a flood, be sure to do a visual check of immediate property damage such as loosened foundation, and cracks or holes in the home or facility.

-TURN OFF THE POWER SUPPLY! Even if the power is completely out, it’s best to find the fuse box and turn off the main power supply line.  That way, if power does return, you aren’t dangerously wading in water with electricity.

Document

Be sure to take photos of the home and the damaged area before removing water or beginning repair work.  You could potentially minimize coverage your insurance is willing to extend if you are able to show your insurance carrier the excess of the damages from the flood.

Personal Protective Equipment

Personal Protective Equipment can save you from being exposed and infected by contaminated water, sewage or household chemicals.

PPE Check list:

-Rubber Gloves, especially helpful when removing damaged items

-Wading boots, if flood water persists in the home, be sure to wear waist-high waterproof boots or boots that allow you to walk through without touching the contaminated water.

Call your Insurance Company

Notify your insurance carrier as soon as possible following a flood. Since floods caused by groundwater are often NOT covered by conventional homeowners insurance, you’ll need to discuss with your agent the extent of coverage given what is determined to be the cause of the flood.

Remove Water

Contact a professional water extraction company to remove standing water.

Should you decided to remove the water on your own, you can purchase a sump pump from a hardware store and or a wet vacuum. 

Be sure to stimulate the natural drying out process by allowing fresh air to circulate by opening doors and windows so long as no additional water enters the property by doing so.

Mold Mitigation

Unfortunately, right outside of the 48 hour window of water damage, microbial growth develops. Microbial growth like mold can negatively affect the health and air quality of your home.  To minimize mold growth, be sure to remove wet contents, including carpeting and bedding.

While it is possible for wet items to be salvageable, it’s best to consult a fully certified water damage restoration company as well as to notify your insurance company to be sure you are not affecting coverage when removing items.

Secure the Property

If your home is deemed uninhabitable, before leaving your home, be sure to secure the property to minimize damages. Anywhere where water can enter, for example from a damaged roof, be sure to use a tarp to protect from any residual water entering the home.

Consult your insurance company to see what your options are for temporary housing while your home is being repaired.

For peace of mind at an unfortunate time and if you simply don’t know where to start following a large home disaster, Premier Restoration Hawaii  is here for you to provide you guidance as well as a full suite of services to help you every step of the way no matter the size or scope of your restoration needs.