In Louisiana, we’re no strangers to flooding. We’re used to throwing hurricane parties and stocking up on food and sandbags when the weather gets bad.
But did you know that flooding is actually one of the deadliest natural disasters–and not just due to the possibility of drowning? Continue reading to learn more about the real dangers of flooding.
When your home floods, one of the first things you need to do after the water recedes is check for mold. Start with your floors, walls, and furniture. Oftentimes you will need to throw out textiles like bedding and mattresses in order to keep your household safe from mold exposure.
Failure to discard tainted material goods including textiles, insulation, sheetrock, and furniture can result in a mold infestation causing respiratory issues and rashes–the last thing you want during a global pandemic.
Humans aren’t the only living beings affected by flooding–animals are as well. After a flood, you may notice that your pets appear to be uncharacteristically depressed, anxious, or aggressive. This is because they don’t understand what’s going on.
Pets may become sick from drinking or walking in contaminated water, and stepping on or chewing debris also poses a major risk to your animals. Keep all of this in mind when slowly reintroducing your pets to your previously flooded home.
Be wary of wild animals as well, as they can be displaced by floods, entering your property with the same anxious and aggressive behavior that your pets may be displaying.
With an abundance of standing water comes an abundance of mosquitoes, which can carry deadly diseases like Zika and West Nile. Keep this in mind as you assess damage around your house and begin the repair process, and be sure to protect yourself with bug spray.
Flooding can have a severe impact on both your physical and mental health.
Biohazardous materials like dead animals, chemicals, sharp objects, and sewage can be floating around in floodwater, which is why we suggest that you avoid coming into contact with it unless you’re a trained professional with the proper equipment.
Without the proper clothing and equipment, you risk infecting any open wounds on your body and breaking out in rashes. Any food or water that has been contaminated can be toxic and make you seriously ill as well.
Downed power lines that are still live may be submerged underwater. This is a major hazard because floodwater poses the risk of electrocution due to its conductive properties. Remember this when it comes time to evacuate your home, and turn off all utilities before leaving (as long as you can do so safely).
Carbon monoxide is another risk to look out for. Using propane tanks and gas-powered generators to keep the lights can become dangerous without the proper ventilation. Make sure to have carbon monoxide detectors nearby and only operate these types of generators in areas that are well-ventilated.
When it comes to mental health, it’s important to note that people without a prior history of depression and anxiety may begin to develop symptoms. Those with pre-existing mental health disorders may experience worsening symptoms, and must remember to bring their medication with them should they need to evacuate.
One common misconception when it comes to flooding is thinking that your car can keep you safe from floodwaters. This is an extremely dangerous and potentially lethal fallacy. It only takes a minimum of 6 inches of water to stall most cars, 12 inches to float smaller vehicles, and 24 inches to float nearly all vehicles away.
If you get stranded in your car, your best chance of survival is to call professionals for help, like those at Stan’s Airboat & Marsh Excavator Service. At Stan’s, we offer disaster clean up services to help clear away logs and other debris after floods. Our mash buggies are built to literally walk on water and are ideal for disaster recovery. As hurricane season blows on, rely on Stan’s for assistance!