What to Do After a Flood: Helpful Tips for Your House and Car

Related: Risk Management and Loss Prevention

Typhoon Ulysses aggravated the effects of previous typhoons and caused floods to many areas in Luzon. It has left properties and items soaked in water and people evacuated from their homes. Going back to your flooded properties could be very overwhelming. This is why Trinity created this article, compiled from different resources, to provide you with some guidelines on what to do after a flood.

Disclaimer: Trinity compiled the following information from different resources for the benefit of those affected by the typhoon. These respective resources were credited after each section

For Your House:

Re-entering your home:

  1. When you return to your home after a flood, be extremely careful.
  2. Call a qualified electrician to check if it’s safe to enter your home especially when you didn’t turn off the main power switch.
  3. Have you appliances inspected by an electrician to determine if these are still usable since appliances soaked in water may cause fire.
  4. Call an electrician if you need to turn off the power. NEVER attempt to turn it off especially if you need to stand in water.
  5. When there’s a gas leak,
  • Immediately remove sources that may ignite. Avoid switching on/off switches as they may cause sparks.
  • Stop the flow of gas by closing the valve or regulator.
  • Increase ventilation by opening doors and windows.
  • Evacuate the people “not involved in handling the emergency”.
  • If leak is coming from the cylinder, place the cylinder to an area that is well-ventilated and isolated.
  • Cover the portion that has leak with wet cloth and/or spray water so that the vapor will be dispersed.
  • Immediately report the incident to your local fire department.

Ensure building safety:

  1. Before entering, check if the building is structurally safe.
  2. Check for collapsed walls or floors.
  3. Look out for “holes in the floor, broken glass, and other potentially dangerous debris”.

Documenting the damage:

  1. It is important to take a photo or video of the damage to help you during insurance claims.
  2. Take note which items can still be repaired or cleaned. (Take reasonable measures to protect and prevent further damage to the property by segregating those items that can still be repaired or cleaned.)
  3. Immediately contact your broker, Trinity Insurance Brokers (TIB), to further assist you on the proper documentation and processing of your claim.

Structures:

  1. Let your house be completely dried and dehumidified.
  2. Clean the floors from mud and dirt as quickly as possible.
  3. Replace the flooring where flood water or sewage has penetrated.
  4. You may water and unscented detergent to clean interior walls and floor cavities.

Sources:

  • Get Prepared - https://www.getprepared.gc.ca/cnt/hzd/flds-ftr-en.aspx
  • CDC - https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/floods/after.html
  • QBE AU - https://www.qbe.com/au/news/what-to-do-after-a-flood
  • Solane - https://www.solane.com.ph/your-safety/emergency-response/’

For your vehicle:

What to do right after the flood:

  1. As much as possible, avoid starting the car – the water can cause short-circuit and might further damage your engine and other critical components.
  2. ”Unclamp the battery” – by disconnecting the battery, the possibility of short-circuiting and you being electrocuted as you check your car are avoided.
  3. Roll down your windows – this to eliminate unwanted smell. In case of electric windows, open the door instead. Using your keys instead of the remote. Remove mat, carpeting and seat cover. Let the inside of the car dry.
  4. Drain the remaining current in the electrical and electronic circuit of the car by stepping on the brake.
  5. Check how high was your car submerged in the water – usually the flood water will leave a mark in the car. If the water level is at the top of your tires, avoid starting it. Call a towing company.
  6. Inspect your fluid reservoirs – check the viscosity of the fluids in your brake, clutch, coolant, and power steering reservoirs. If they have become watery, then water has penetrated it.
  7. Inspect the air filter – a wet air filter is a good indication that the water has entered your engine. If this is the case, the engine needs to be flushed. Have your car checked in an automotive service center.
  8. For safety, have your car thoroughly checked up, even if it looks fine. The car’s system may still contain some water which may cause greater problem. Be sure that the engine is flushed and the fuel tank drained.

Documenting the damage:

  1. Take a photo or video of the damage to help you during insurance claims.
  2. Take reasonable measures to protect and prevent further damage to the car.
  3. Immediately contact your broker, Trinity Insurance Brokers (TIB), to further assist you on the proper documentation and processing of your claim.

What to replace (from EtchMyPlate):

  1. Pull down and drain fuel tank and replace fuel filter.
  2. Drain oil three times. For the first two, use cheap regular oil just to drain the water and mud in the engine. After each drain, start and idle for 15 minutes. Once the drain is already clear of mud, fill with required motor oil and replace with required oil filter.
  3. Full Drain and fill ATF or gear oil and clean ATF filter / Fill drain power steering fluid.
  4. Drain radiator and replace coolant.
  5. Bleed brake fluid on all 4 wheels.
  6. Repack all bearings, CV, and shaft.

Sources:

  • From Carmudi - https://www.carmudi.com.ph/journal/what-to-do-when-your-car-gets-flooded/
  • From Etch MyPlate - https://m.facebook.com/EtchMyPlate/photos/a.1688816611348802/2927432380820546/?type=3

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What to Do After a Flood: Helpful Tips for Your House and Car

What to Do After a Flood: Helpful Tips for Your House and Car

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