Each time disaster strikes, government and public agencies have their hands full helping as many families as they can. However, both their resources and manpower are often insufficient for everyone in need.

One of the best practices for emergency preparedness is to put together the emergency kit. The kit must include the following: first-aid kit, flashlight, dried food, cleaning tools and an ample supply of clean drinking water (4 liters per person).

Here are basic steps to follow before you start your recovery after a flood:

1. Wait for the local authorities to advise when it is safe to return to your home. Ready the things to be brought in and/or out. Dress properly in sturdy rubber boots, safety glasses, a hard hat, rubber gloves, and a light coat. Bring a notepad and a flashlight, power may be out.

2. While checking for damage outside and inside the house, watch out for hazardous materials. Write notes about issues to report to your local municipality.

3. After flooding, it is important to thoroughly clean and dry all building materials and contents inside the home. The drying of your possessions must be performed by professionals. Depending on the water quality, many items may have to be photographed, listed and thrown away. Wet building materials may also have to be removed. Do not use soaked appliances and any electrical facilities unless thoroughly inspected by a qualified electrician. Drying the building should also be left to trained professionals.

4. Some food products and medicine that have been impacted will have to be disposed of properly. Canned goods may be saved after cleaning and drying. Just wash them thoroughly by the use of antibacterial soap.

5. Wait for the advice of authorities before using the water supply. Ensure that the property is completely dried and restored before moving your family back into your home.

Maintaining a clear mind and calm disposition will help keep everyone safe during a flood. Always monitor the current situation from updates through news and press releases.

When you need professional help for structural drying and property damage mitigation, First General is at your service 24/7.