Flood Water Health Risks and Safety Hazards

After a flood, all kinds of dangers lurk in the waters and your home. Whether it’s bacteria, mold, electricity, or rapid streams — all pose a threat to your health and safety if you’re not careful. Here are the most common hazards following a home flooding, and tips to avoid them: 


  • You can contract a disease by eating or drinking contaminated products. Floodwaters can directly infect food with germs such as E. coli or Salmonella or indirectly during a power surge. There’s also the possibility of wound infection if you come in contact with floodwater.
  • Throw away food that has come in contact with floodwater, including bottled drinks and products in jars, or any food that looks and smells unusual. Intact, canned products may be cleaned and cleaned.
  • Discard perishable foods such as meat or eggs, which have been abandoned at over 41 degrees Fahrenheit for over four hours.
  • Throw away all medicines, cosmetics, and other toiletries that have touched floodwater.
  • If you’ve made contact with floodwater, practice good hygiene — wash hands regularly with soap and warm water.
  • Do not let children play in floodwater or with toys contaminated with floodwater.
  • When you’ve got an open wound, then keep it clean, cover it with a waterproof bandage, and also avoid exposure to floodwater.

Fast Flowing Waters

  • Don’t push flowing water even if it’s only a few inches deep. Your vehicle can break down or have swept away.
  • If the roads are flooded and you absolutely must drive, track road conditions and obey closure indications. Be conscious of road hazards such as sand, construction debris, tree limbs, and potholes.
  • Never walk through flowing water either. Rapidly moving water could be fatal, even in case you’re able to swim.

Respiratory Hazards

  • Prevent areas with mold expansion — it may form within 24-48 hours of flooding. The mold must be eliminated before going back to your own home. For mold and water damage cleanup, hire a professional damage restoration company, for example, PuroClean. 
  • Run gasoline, propane, and diesel-powered equipment just in well-ventilated outdoor areas to prevent carbon dioxide buildup.
  • Be aware of asbestos poisoning. Do not enter areas where asbestos might have been used as a construction material.
  • When coming into your house after a flood, know about potential chemical hazards that floodwaters could have carried.
  • Don’t move propane tanks as they may cause a fire or explode. Call the State Fire Marshal’s office immediately. Or visit this fire damage repair company.
  • If you see automobile batteries in floodwaters, do not get near them to avoid electrical shock.

Electrical and Gas Dangers

  • Never touch electrical lines, wires, equipment, and fittings during and after a flood. Report fallen power lines.
  • Don’t walk or drive through floodwater if downed power lines are in it.
  • Never enter your home if the primary power switch wasn’t turned off before flooding. Wait until a qualified electrician has declared your home safe before re-entering.
  • Evacuate your home if you detect or odor gas and notify the gas company.


  • In the wake of a flood, all kinds of debris might be potentially dangerous.

To learn more about home flood security, check out how to shield your house from flooding and everything to do after a basement flood. For flood water damage repair and mold remediation service, speak to your regional PuroClean office.