Raw sewage and flood waters contain bacteria and other micro-organisms which are extremely hazardous to human health. These can be transmitted by touching contaminated items or by tracking them into uncontaminated areas on shoes. Children and pets are especially vulnerable. Frequent hand-washing is an important preventive measure. Absorbent materials such as carpeting and drywall may not be restorable after direct contact with sewage-contaminated or flood-contaminated water.
Do. . . .
Treat all water-impacted surfaces and furnishings as toxic until properly decontaminated.
Keep children and pets out of contaminated areas.
Turn off air handlers if ducts are contaminated.
Don’t. . . .
Track contaminated material into undamaged areas.
Attempt to clean up sewage damage yourself.
Try to save carpet and other porous items, such as drywall, that have been contaminated.
In the Event of an Emergency…What’s Next?
There are some steps you can take to minimize the impact of a disaster. They include:
1. Get to safety – Make sure your family is safe and comfortable; go to a friend’s or relative’s home, a hotel or motel, any place where you can catch your breath and gather your thoughts.
2. Call Your Insurance Agent – Agents have extensive experience in dealing with disasters, and they will quickly start working on your behalf.
3. Contact the Experts – You will need a restoration company that you can trust –a company that has experience in dealing with insurance companies, offers reasonable completion dates, and has a local reputation for living up to its promises.
4. Save as Much Property as You Can, If It’s Safe to Do So – Family heirlooms provide a link to the past and will help you recover. Electronics can also often be restored by a qualified restoration specialist. However, no piece of personal property is worth risking your safety; don’t enter an unsafe building for any reason.
5. Don’t Get Discouraged – Your life will get back to normal. Your home or business can be restored to look as good as or better than it did before. Talk to your insurance adjuster and restoration company; they can advise you of your options.