The storm has come and gone, but flooding and residual perils are still at bay. Flooding and loss of power have been the most common effects of Hurricane Harvey and Irma, and more are continuing to be exposed. In this article, we’ll explore the other uncommonly known issues that remain after people have returned to their homes and attempt to recreate their routines after a hurricane. We’ve already discussed how to safely evaluate the property before entering, now we’ll take a closer look at the dangers that lurk inside. Remind homeowners of high-risk coastal properties to file a claim and collect on their Property Insurance policies as soon as possible.
The dangers of generators.
After a power outage, homeowners often don’t have any other choice than to run a generator to cook and light up the home. However, they are producers of carbon monoxide, and can cause death to pets and people once enough of the gas has accumulated in the home.
According to USA Today, carbon monoxide, a colorless, odorless gas that causes about 400 deaths a year, can quickly lead to a loss of consciousness and death. The most common symptoms of CO poisoning are headache, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, weakness and confusion. Generators should not be run in any type of enclosed structure — even if doors and windows are open— and not less than 20 feet from windows, doors and vents.
Homeowners should inspect their water heater ventilation as well. Many of these ventilation systems become damaged from strong hurricane winds, which can also lead to carbon monoxide build up.
The risk of electric shocks and gas explosions.
We discussed how to evaluate the home before entering in our last post, and this goes hand in hand with that point. If there is standing water in the home, then main gas lines and electricity should be shut off at the main valve to prevent electric shock or explosions.
Homeowners want to get back home and work on repairing their homes and getting their lives back on track, but rushing into an unsafe situation can have devastating consequences.
With so much water damage, mold is inevitable. Seek professional help as soon as possible since mold will start to develop as soon as 24 hours after flooding. Bear in mind that mold can have severe consequences on homeowners who suffer from allergies and asthma, as well.
“Black water,” as flood water is referred to, contains human and animal waste that sits sedentary in the home. If homeowners come into contact with this water, a tetanus shot is advised to prevent them from acquiring symptoms associated with harmful bacteria. Furniture, food, and anything else that encounters black water needs to be discarded.
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