Healthy HomesFLOODING IN YOUR HOMEDwane HubertMaine Emergency Management AgencyApril, 2011
FLOODING IN YOUR HOME Agenda Flood Facts What to do before a flood. What to do during a flood. What to do after a flood.
FLOODING IN YOUR HOME Flood Facts • Flooding: the #1 cause for natural hazard disasters in Maine (and US). • Causes: coastal storms, heavy rains/runoff, snowmelt, ice jams, etc. • Flash floods often bring walls of water 10 to 20 feet high. • A car can easily be carried away by just two feet of floodwater. • Just an inch of water can cause costly damage to your property. • Everyone lives in a flood zone – low, moderate, or high risk areas. • Approximately 33,000 structures are at high risk of flooding in Maine. • Up to 75% of homes and businesses in floodplains in Maine are NOT covered by flood insurance. • In high-risk area, a home is more than twice as likely to be damaged by flood than by fire. • In high-risk area, a home has a 26% chance of suffering flood damage during the term of a 30-year mortgage. • New land development can increase flood risk.
FLOODING IN YOUR HOME Flood Facts . . . (cont.) • Millions of dollars in property damages occur in Maine. • 1 of 4 floods occurs in a moderate-to-low risk flood zone. • Last year, about 25% of all claims paid by the NFIP were for policies in moderate- to-low risk communities. • Average annual US flood losses (1994-2004): over $2.4 billion. • Flood damage is NOT covered by homeowners policies. • Flood insurance: for anybody, anywhere, anytime. . . easy to get and affordable. . . for contents and/or structure. • Usually a 30-day waiting period before coverage goes into effect. • Flood insurance pays even if a disaster is not declared. • Federal disaster loans cost more than flood insurance. • Maine statistics: 8,902 flood insurance policies in effect and over $1.8 billion in flood coverage.
FLOODING IN YOUR HOME What to do before a flood. Determine your risk (FIRM). Get flood Insurance (NFIP) – 30 day rule. Check & repair drainage system, basement. Install sump pump & back up power. Tie down oil tank and furnace.
FLOODING IN YOUR HOME What to do before a flood. . . (cont.) Remove valuables from the basement. Eliminate mold breeding grounds. Document your belongings (pictures)! Emergency preparedness 101 – make a plan; assemble supplies; stay informed; help others. Repetitively flooded? Think hazard mitigation grant.
FLOODING IN YOUR HOME What to do during a flood. Stay informed. Ask your neighbor if he/she needs help. Be prepared to evacuate at a moment’s notice. Follow instructions by local officials. When flood warning is issued, evacuate to high ground with your Go-Bag and seek shelter.
FLOODING IN YOUR HOME What to do during a flood. . . (cont.) Time permitting, turn off main water, power and gas. Avoid floodwaters, downed power lines & debris. When driving, turn around, don’t drown! Be especially careful at night. Let your family know that you’re safe*. * RedCross.org/SafeandWell or 1-866-GET-INFO
FLOODING IN YOUR HOME What to do after a flood. Return home ONLY when officials say it’s o.k. Before entering your home, look, listen, smell, & avoid… Keep children & pets away from hazardous sites & floodwater. Document damages (pictures)! Contact your insurance agent.
FLOODING IN YOUR HOME What to do after a flood. . .(cont.) Clean-up & restoration Wear protective clothing - rubber boots/gloves, etc. Dispose of hazardous materials. Avoid risk - get assistance. Clean up mud and silt before it dries. Make sure food and water are safe. If in doubt, throw it out! Contaminated water? Contact experts about boiling/treating. Prevent mold BEFORE it grows. Get rid of Mold! Document flood-related, clean-up & restoration expenses!
FLOODING IN YOUR HOME What to do after a flood. . .(cont.) More about Cleaning. . . www.maineprepares.com > Recovery Appliances, Electric Motors, Fixtures & Electronic Equipment Bedding, Linens, Clothing, and Draperies Books and Papers Concrete Dishes and Cooking Utensils Floors, Rugs, Carpets, and Tiles Food Furniture Paintings Plaster Walls and Ceilings. Refuse
FLOODING IN YOUR HOME What to do after a flood. . .(cont.) More about Mold. www.maineprepares.com > Recovery Common inside homes. Will grow anywhere where there is moisture. Spores enter from openings/vents or attach themselves to people, pets, things, etc. Favorite places to grow: moist cellulose materials (paper & paper products, cardboard, ceiling tiles, wood & wood products). Other places: dust, paints, wallpaper, insulation materials, drywall, carpet, fabric, upholstery. People most at risk of health problems: those with allergies, immune suppression or underlying lung disease (Egs. COPD, Asthma). Health effects include: nasal stuffiness, eye irritation, sneezing, skin irritation. Severe reactions may include: fever, shortness of breath. Some may develop fungal infections in their lungs.
FLOODING IN YOUR HOME What to do after a flood. . .(cont.) More about Mold. . . (cont.) www.maineprepares.com > Recovery Removing mold: use commercial cleaners, soap & water, or bleach solution of < 1 cup bleach/1 gallon water. Ventilate, wear non-porous gloves/eye protection. NEVER mix bleach with ammonia or other cleaners. Prevent mold by routinely inspecting for water damage and visible mold. Keep humidity between 40-60%. Use AC or humidifier. Ventilation is key. Fix leaks, clean up and dry out home w/in 24-48 hours after flooding. Add mold inhibitors to paints and clean bathrooms with mold-killing products. Remove/replace carpets and upholstery that can’t be dried promptly.
FLOODING IN YOUR HOME A word about the Maine VOAD.