Water intrusion, delayed re-entry and power interruption may have created a situation that demands careful planning before you return to your flooded home, especially after a forced evacuation. Your personal safety and the safety of family members should be paramount in your mind.
The first thing you should consider is what you may need to keep yourself safe. Personal protective equipment including safety shoes or rubber boots, gloves, eye protection and possibly a dust mask (with a rating of at least N-95) or a respirator.
Next, think about equipment that you may need. Things like a pry bar, brooms and shovels, and a flashlight. Packing supplies and a first aid kit should also be included. Don’t enter the building by yourself. A second person in any hazardous situation just makes good sense, not to help you if something goes wrong, but to call for emergency help if something goes wrong.
Check the entire home for dangerous situations. Water can do incredible things; furniture may have shifted or become stacked, walls may be out of plumb, ceilings may be dangerously sagging due to trapped water. Be especially wary of electricity. Water and electricity can be a deadly combination.
Most of all, don’t underestimate the affect of psychological shock and the stressful physical effort that water-damaged homes can cause.