What To Do After A Flood
The Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo hopes that all residents and businesses stay safe during this challenging time. Use this guide to help you determine what to do after a flood.
Never return to your home or business until you know it is safe to do so. The local authorities will coordinate opening affected areas after a flood. Once you return, it is important to stay tuned to local radio stations in case you need to evacuate again.
Returning to Your Property
- Exercise extreme caution when returning to your home or business.
- Do not enter any building unless it is structurally sound. Avoid areas that are damaged or contain dangerous debris.
- Do not enter basements or other areas with floodwater as it may contain hidden hazards or may be electrically charged.
- Floodwater is contaminated, making many items unsafe to handle or consume. Mud left from floodwater can contain sewage and chemicals.
- Inspections on electrical panels and appliances by a qualified technician will be required before utilities can be reconnected to your home or business.
- If utilities were not turned off before you evacuated, do not enter your property until it has been checked by a qualified technician.
- Before drinking tap water, check it for colour and odour. If you suspect it is contaminated, do not drink it.
Completing a Damage Assessment
- Use a camera or video camera to record any flood damage to your property.
- Do not discard any valuable papers that may have been damaged during a flood. Instead, store them in a freezer – they may be important later.
- Watch for information on Disaster Recovery Program, which is administered by the Province of Alberta.
Cleaning Your Property
- Protecting your health and the safety of others is important as you clean up after a flood.
- Arrange for child care while you clean to minimize your child’s exposure to contaminated areas.
- Do not bring pets back until it is safe.
- When using electrical equipment, keep extension cords out of water.
- Furniture and other items in your home or business that have been flood damaged will have to be discarded.
- Contamination can spoil food and prescription medication. When in doubt, throw it out.
- Discard all contaminated food items, including fresh produce, packaged or boxed food and meats, damaged or leaking canned goods, and bottled foods and drinks, as floodwater can seep under
a cap or lid.
- For instructions on how to disinfect and clean your property, consult the local public health office.
Reoccupying Your Home or Business
- After the danger has passed, do not reoccupy your property until:
- All utilities have been restored.
- The water supply and waste water system has been inspected and is safe for use.
- If damaged by flooding, your property has been thoroughly cleaned, dried and disinfected.