Returning to a Flooded Building

This information provided from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

Returning to flood damaged buildings requires careful planning. The following tips are designed to assist impacted individuals when they are able to reach their flooded property.

  • Personal protective equipment including safety shoes or boots (rubber boots may be best if you are not sure if the water has been pumped out), work gloves, eye protection, rubber gloves for cleaning or when using sanitizing chemicals, a hard hat, and respiratory protection in case there is mold or bacteria contamination (respirators with HEPA cartridges or dust masks with a rating of N-95 or higher should be used). These can be obtained from hardware stores or home improvement stores. If materials containing asbestos are suspected, it will be necessary to use a respirator with a HEPA cartridge in accordance with Federal requirements.
  • Tools for entry and cleaning such as a pry bar, shovel, and a flashlight with extra batteries (Figure 1)
  • Camera or video recorder for recording conditions for use in insurance claims
  • Hand and face cleaning supplies such as alcohol swabs or hand sanitizer gel
  • Cleaning supplies for salvageable materials including drinking water, chemical cleaners/sanitizers, sponges, buckets, and wiping rags
  • Packing supplies to protect fragile salvaged items during transport
  • First aid kit
  • Pen and paper, tape, scissors, and small plastic storage bags for writing down serial numbers and saving samples of discarded materials to support insurance claims