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.

Stay safe

  • 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.

More from this category

Be prepared for bad weather

Flashlight

The best way to weather a storm is to have a safety plan in place ahead of time.

learn more

Gas appliance safety

Gas appliance connector cord

Keep these safety guidelines in mind when using gas-consuming products such as stoves, clothes dryers, water heaters and furnaces.

learn more

Wiring and grounding in older homes

Wires running through the walls of an older home

The wiring inside most older houses wasn’t designed to handle the electrical needs we have today.

learn more

Aging in place

Adjustable height kitchen sink

Using universal design principals, your home can adapt to your changing lifestyle needs.

learn more

Radon gas

Radon pipe in rock

Find out how to test for radon in your home and what to do if you have it.

learn more

Carbon monoxide - the invisible enemy

carbon monoxide detector

Find out what causes deadly carbon monoxide poisoning - and how to prevent and detect it.

learn more

Home security systems

Lit up house at night

Many homeowners are investing in home security systems to deter criminals, provide home protection and deliver peace of mind.

learn more

Take care with power tools

Man using a circular saw

Taking a few minutes to check power tools before and after using will keep them in good working order and will keep you safe.

learn more

Cleaning dryer vents

Dryer vent hole on outside of house

Drying clothes takes a lot of energy. Keeping your dryer vent clean makes your appliance more energy efficient.

learn more