Flooded home, Jasper TX (C) Daniel FriedmanHow to Safely Enter & Inspect a Building After a Disaster: Earthquake, Fire, Flood, Hurricane, Windstorm

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How & when to enter a building damaged by a disaster:

Safety advice for entering flood-damaged or other disaster-damaged buildings. DO NOT ENTER a Building Under These Circumstances (list). SAFETY PROCEDURES When Planning to or Actually Entering a Building Damaged by Flooding, Fire, Earthquake, Other Disaster.

This article describes when & how to safely enter a flood-damaged building after it has been flooded. We discuss when to stay out, when you can enter, and safety considerations on entry of flooded buildings.

Adapted and expanded from Repairing your Flooded Home, American Red Cross & FEMA & from additional expert sources.[1] NOTICE: neither the ARC nor FEMA have yet approved the additions & expansions we have made to the original document. .

We also provide a MASTER INDEX to this topic, or you can try the page top or bottom SEARCH BOX as a quick way to find information you need.

Building Entry Safety Procedures in a Disaster: Procedures for Entering a Safe, Disaster-Damaged Building following an Earthquake, Fire, Flood, Hurricane, Windstorm, or other Disaster

Photo of Moldy drywall in a basement following a modest 6 inch flooding eventHazards in and around flooded & other damaged buildings include risk of structural collapse, risk of septic system collapse, trip and fall injury hazards, electrical shock hazards, fire and explosion hazards where natural gas or bottled gas are present, toxic sludge and materials containing waterborne bacteria, such as the E. coli and Enterococci bacteria, toxic mold growth indoors.

When entering buildings, use extreme caution. Building damage may have occurred where you least expect it. Watch carefully every step you take.

Our page top photograph shows a flooded home in Jasper, TX. If your building has been flooded, this website provides an easy to understand guide for flood damage assessment, setting priorities of action, safety, and we provide special information about avoiding or minimizing mold damage.

Watch out: Do Not Enter a Building Under These Circumstances

Safety Procedures When Planning to or Actually Entering a Building Damaged by Flooding, Fire, Earthquake, Other Disaster

Photo of Moldy drywall in a basement following a modest 6 inch flooding event Wet crawl space unsafe to enter (C) Daniel Friedman

Flooded crawl spaces may be contaminated with sewage bacteria, mold, rodents, or chemicals.

Flooded crawl spaces may be in danger from collapse of the structure overhead.

There may be a danger of electrocution in crawl spaces, especially wet ones, if electrical power remains on.

Crawl spaces may be particularly dangerous for a variety of reasons such as the presence of sewage, mold, asbestos, rodents, snakes, chemicals, pesticides, or structural collapse hazards.




Continue reading at ELECTRICAL SAFETY for Flood Damage Inspectors or select a topic from closely-related articles below, or see our complete INDEX to RELATED ARTICLES below.

Or see our FLOOD RESPONSE CHECKLIST that lists key actions you should take after building flooding to minimize mold damage, and includes some safety warnings.

Or see these articles on

Flood Damaged Building Inspection, Repair, Damage Prevention

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BUILDING ENTRY for DAMAGE ASSESSMENT at - online encyclopedia of building & environmental inspection, testing, diagnosis, repair, & problem prevention advice.


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