How to Deal with Water Damage After a Disaster

Water is a vital resource that sustains life, but it can also be destructive, unpredictable, and overwhelming. This is especially true during natural disasters such as Hurricane Florence, which caused unprecedented flooding in North Carolina. The damage caused by such events can be extensive, with estimates indicating that the cost of property damage resulting from the hurricane could be as high as $22 billion. In this article, we provide facility executives with ten best practices for water remediation to help them navigate the aftermath of significant water damage.

These practices should form part of an overall disaster plan designed to provide facility managers with the strategies, tactics, and critical information they need to respond to emergencies effectively. In addition to these best practices, facility managers should familiarize themselves with their flood insurance policy and establish a relationship with their insurance provider to assess water damage efficiently.

Drawing on our of experience, we have compiled these tips to expedite the remediation process and ensure the safety and security of everyone involved.

Essential Tips for Water Remediation


  1. Safety is the top priority when dealing with water damage. The first step is to alert appropriate local resources, such as the fire and police departments, mechanical contractors, insurance companies, utility companies, and restoration companies.
  2. Identify water shut-offs and label them for quick access. Time is of the essence when it comes to minimizing loss, mitigating risk, and protecting assets.
  3. Electricity poses a significant safety hazard when dealing with water damage. Look for any signs of water coming through light fixtures or electrical boxes, and immediately shut off the electrical box, circuit breaker box, and meter panel. Once the electricity is shut down, cord off the affected area with caution tape.
  4. The first step to take when faced with water damage is to immediately shut down the electrical box, circuit break box, and meter panel to prevent further damage and protect people from electric shock. After shutting down the electricity, cord off the affected area with caution tape to keep people from entering and potentially getting hurt.
  5. Once the area is safe to enter, identify the source of the water damage and assess the degree of contamination to determine the appropriate remediation plan. Be aware of any associated health effects depending on the contamination level to update emergency personnel when they arrive on-site.
  6. It’s important to identify potential environmental hazards like lead or asbestos. Prolonged exposure to asbestos and/or lead can cause serious illness and significant health problems. If there’s a possibility that these hazards are present, take extra precautions and consult with a professional to ensure safe removal.
  7. Protect valuable contents from affected areas by relocating or covering them with plastic garbage bags. Valuables may include electronics, computers, furniture, artwork, files and documents, clothing, etc. Ensure that they’re kept safe from further damage and avoid handling them with bare hands to prevent contamination.
  8. Have basic items on hand like plastic garbage bags, caution tape, duct tape, and basic hand tools. These items will come in handy when containing and isolating the area of damage, protecting valuable contents, and disposing of damaged items.
  9. Contain and isolate the area(s) of damage to protect staff and on-site emergency personnel. Create a plastic barrier around the perimeter of the contaminated area and cord it off with caution tape. This will prevent people from entering the affected area and reduce the risk of further contamination.
  10. Once the area is contained and isolated, begin the mitigation process with a restoration partner on-site. This will help preserve, secure, and restore your property to good working order. A trusted restoration partner will have the expertise and equipment necessary to quickly and efficiently remediate the damage.


Whether the source of the water damage is a natural disaster, leaking pipe, backed up sewer, or broken sprinkler line, water can cause significant damage to your property. Having a strategic disaster plan in place, a partnership with a trusted restoration company, and familiarity with your flood insurance policy is paramount to long-term success. Take the time to review these best practices to ensure swift action when needed and get your property in good working order once again.

At Houston Restore PROS, we provide 24/7 emergency water extraction services to help prevent further damage. Our team of experts is equipped with dehumidifiers, air movers, and dryers to handle even the most extensive water damage and flooding issues.