Hurricane season is an excellent reminder each year to be cautious during flood conditions. In the event of a flood please keep the following safety precautions in mind.
First of all – avoid flood water itself. If your area is severely flooded, do not walk through the water or touch the water if possible. Here’s why:
- Downed power lines can electrify the water
- Snakes, swimming rats, and other animals can be active in the water
- Toxic substances including raw sewage can contaminate the water
- The inability to see the surface of the ground means walking hazards such as curbs debris or open manholes cannot be seen. These hazards can lead to injury or death (for instance a manhole could be draining water and can suck a person into the flow)
When closing an office due to flooding, please make sure your employees understand that they should not return to your business prior to receiving an all-clear from the point person described in your company’s disaster recovery plan.
Emergency personnel as indicated in your disaster recovery plan should be the first to return – and they should make sure the power is off to the building prior to entry. Additional precautions for those first re-entering a flooded business:
- Wear sturdy shoes, long pants, long sleeves, safety glasses and gloves.
- If a generator is in use, place generators away from doors windows and vents to keep the toxic exhaust from the generator from flowing int the workspace through these openings.
- Make sure the generator is placed outside. Never use a generator indoors – CO2 is deadly, builds up quickly and remains in a space for hours.
- Do not use electrical tools while standing in water.
- If you see frayed wiring, sparks or smell a burning odor with no visible fire, immediately turn off all electrical systems and exit the building.
DII is your partner in good times and in disaster situations. Your representative can help you submit insurance claims and work through a safe reopening.