If your home floods, follow the safety precautions below.
Before a flood
- Unplug electric appliances if they are expected to be underwater.
- Individually shut off the valves to gas appliances if they are expected to be underwater.
- Never walk through a flooded home or building until gas and electric service are disconnected.
- Standing water can snuff out pilot lights on hot water heaters and furnaces. If this occurs, natural gas may collect in your home, creating the risk of an explosion.
- Even a small amount of water on the floor of your basement can put you at risk for electrocution. While electricity is often needed to run the sump pumps and wet-vacs that help remove water from the basement, the risk of electrical shock is too high.
- Safety experts suggest using a generator to power your sump pump or wet/dry vacuum instead. Generators also come with safety concerns, so learn more about generator safety before operating one. Never run extension cords through water.
- When you are ready to reconnect your service, call your power company. Be sure to have a certified electrician inspect your system for damage before calling to be reconnected. Have your furnace and water heater inspected by a professional.
- NEVER handle electric appliances or any other electric equipment, such as a circuit breaker, with wet hands or while standing on a wet surface. Water and electricity can be a deadly combination.
- Avoid walking in flooded backyards if water is touching utility equipment like ground-mounted transformers.