Downed power linesAs floodwaters recede and you’re allowed back into your home or business to assess the damage, take lots of pictures of the building and its contents to document damages for insurance claims.

Watch for electrical dangers and report downed power lines immediately. As you enter buildings, look for loose plaster or drywall and for ceilings that could fall. Watch floors for loose nails and boards.

If you have a septic tank, cesspool, pit or leaching system, record damages to those as well. Damaged sewage systems are health hazards and need to be serviced as soon as possible.

When working in a flooded area, it’s recommended to have had a tetanus shot within the last 10 years.

Now more than ever it’s important to wash your hands with soap and clean or disinfected water before eating, smoking or touching your face.

Learn more at your local extension center or online at

“Resources for Your Flooded Home,” a 24-page guide from MU Extension, is available for free download at

Adapted by permission from West Virginia University.