Tuesday, March 8, 2011

New Jersey Tips - Cleaning Up After a Flood

With the melting snow, heavy rain and over-flowing rivers and streams, many of us will be faced with cleaning up our house and business after a flood. Cleaning up a flood-ravaged home or business – one of the first steps toward recovery – can be a difficult and disheartening task. It can also be dangerous.

Part I - Getting Around Safely

• Emergency workers will be assisting people in flooded areas. You can help them by staying off the roads and out of the way. Keep listening to the radio for news about what to do, where to go, or places to avoid.

• Roads may still be closed because they have been damaged or are covered by water. Floodwaters often erode roads and walkways. Barricades have been placed for your protection. If you come upon a barricade or a flooded road, turn around and go another way. Don’t try to assess the depth of the water on a road. If the road is covered, don’t cross it. Don’t drive over low-water bridges.

• If your vehicle stalls, get away from it and get to higher ground. A car will float in as little as two feet of water. More people drown in their cars than anywhere else.

• Remember that standing water may be electrically charged from underground or downed power lines.

• Be careful walking around. Flooding may have caused familiar places to change, and steps and floors are often slippery with mud.

• Do not walk through flooded areas. As little as six inches of moving water can knock you off your feet.

• Stay away from areas subject to additional flooding, such as low areas, stream beds, and ditches.

• Stay on firm ground.

• Be especially careful at night or in dark conditions when it is harder to see flood dangers.

• Flooded areas can be covered with debris, including nails and broken glass. Flood waters and debris may hide live animals or animal carcasses, and flood waters are often contaminated with biohazards (sewage, medical waste,

animal waste and carcasses) or other hazardous materials (fuels, asbestos, farm chemicals, etc.). Wear appropriate personal protective equipment if you must come in contact with flood waters.

• To reduce the risk of drowning; avoid working alone, and wear a Coast Guard approved life jacket when you are working in or near flood waters.

Do you carry a Flood policy for your NJ Home or NJ Business? Have you reviewed your flood coverage since you took out your policy? Do you know you can purchase flood insurance even if you are not in a flood zone? These are just a few of the questions that Eastern Insurors can answer to make sure you are properly protected in case of a natural disaster, fire or any other event. Give us a call at 800.269.3203 or email Eastern Insurors with any of your insurance questions. You can visit us online for more information on flood insurance here. Check back with us tomorrow for part 2 of our 6 part series on flood safety.

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