Emergency Tips

Safely Clean Up Your Flooded Home

Safely Clean Up Your Flooded Home

Promote Healthy Indoor Air Quality and Safe Flood Recovery

Flooded Home

Was your home damaged in flooding from recent hurricanes?

Floods can introduce new hazards indoors and worsen existing ones. Flood waters can carry sewage and other harmful substances indoors and standing water and wet materials can become a breeding ground for viruses, bacteria, and mold.

Below are tips on how to safely clean up a flooded home and promote safe and healthy indoor air quality following a flood.

Tips for Safe Flood Cleanup

Flood Cleanup Poster

  • Children, pregnant people, and people with weakened immune systems or chronic breathing problems like asthma should not help with flood cleanup.
  • Wear personal protective equipment when you clean up, including goggles (without vent holes), an N-95 respirator, long sleeves, protective gloves, long pants, and boots or work shoes.
  • Clean and dry your home and everything in it within 24 to 48 hours, if you can.
    • Clean hard surfaces with detergent and water. Do not mix cleaning products together or add bleach to other chemicals.
    • Decide what flood-damaged furniture and belongings you should keep and clean or throw away.
    • While cleaning, ventilate and dry your home by using fans and dehumidifiers and by opening doors and windows, if possible. If you can already see mold, do not use fans because fans may spread the mold.


To safely use a fuel-powered portable generator, place it 20 feet from all homes.

Operate portable generators safely. NEVER use a fuel-powered portable generator inside your home, garage, shed, or any enclosed areas. Always use generators outside and at least 20 feet away from buildings. Generator exhaust contains deadly carbon monoxide gas. Learn more about how to safely provide power during a power outage.

Visit EPA’s new Flood Cleanup to Protect Indoor Air and Your Health page for more information on actions you can take to protect your health and IAQ when cleaning up after a flood.

The full article published by the United States Environmental Protection Agency on 9/29/2022 can be found by clicking HERE

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