Chemical & Electrical Hazards
When you return to areas damaged by flooding, the Environmental Protection Agency advises extreme caution. The debris left behind by the flood can be a source of injury or illness. It is important to be careful when cleaning damaged structures or handling debris.
Be aware of potential chemical hazards you may encounter during repair and recovery efforts. Floodwaters may have buried or moved hazardous chemical containers of solvents or other industrial chemicals from their normal storage places
Do not attempt to remove any propane tanks. These represent a very real danger of fire or explosion. The EPA urges you to call police or fire departments to report locations.
Car batteries may contain an electrical charge. You should wear insulated gloves when removing car batteries and avoid coming in contact with any acid that may have spilled.
- Wear gloves and work boots.
- Hazardous materials need to be separated from other trash.
- Wash your hands after any cleanup.
- Treat electrical lines and outlets with extreme care. Don't assume power is off!
Check your water heater. If floodwaters got into the gas burner, electrical parts or insulation, contact a professional to service or replace it. If it was not flooded, be sure to flush clean water through it before you wash dishes or clothes with hot water.
Contact the EPA National Response Center at 1-800-424-8802 with specific questions or concerns about chemical or oil spills