Public Advisories & Alerts
Justice and Public Safety
Homeowners reminded to stay safe during flood cleanup14 January 2018
FREDERICTON (GNB) – After a flood, it’s important to restore a home to good order as soon as possible to protect the health of your family and prevent further damage to property and belongings. New Brunswickers are encouraged to take safety precautions when cleaning up after flooding.
It is important to take immediate action. Your house and furnishings are less likely to grow mould if contents are dried within 48 hours. Record details of damage, with photos or video if possible and keep receipts related to clean-up and repair. Contact your insurance agent immediately and register your flood damages.
Residents are reminded to make sure the building is structurally safe. Look for buckled walls or floors. Watch for holes in the floor, broken glass and other potentially dangerous debris. If in doubt, contact a professional. Avoid electrical shock by calling NB Power at 1-800-663-6272 to have electricity disconnected or reconnected if you have experienced flooding.
Set up a step-by-step action plan to remove all water, mud and other debris; dispose of contaminated household goods, and rinse away contamination inside the home. Be prepared to make difficult decisions about what to keep and what to throw out.
Put your own safety first. Avoid electrical shock. If you are experiencing flooding and need to be disconnected or reconnected, call NB Power at 1-800-663-6272.
Private wells should not be used while flooded. Once flood waters have receded, the well should be disinfected and tested, no matter what water treatment device is installed.
Until a water supply has been tested and shown to be safe, water for drinking and personal use should be brought to a rolling boil for at least one minute, and then stored in clean, covered containers.
Private water supplies may be affected by substances such as furnace oil, gasoline or agricultural chemicals. If residents believe that their well has been affected by such chemicals, the water should not be used for any domestic purpose - even if it has been boiled - until it is deemed safe by health officials.
If the soil around a house and septic system is flooded, the residents should conserve water and avoid flushing the toilet if possible. Avoid using dish washers and washing machines as the septic system will not work under these conditions and sewage could end up in the home or backyard.
Do not heat your home to more than four degrees Celsius (about 40 degrees Fahrenheit) until all water is removed.
If you use pumps or heaters powered by gasoline, kerosene or propane, buy and install a carbon-monoxide sensor. Combustion devices can produce large amounts of lethal carbon monoxide when they are not tuned-up or are improperly ventilated.
For more information regarding the health effects relating to flooding or the disinfection of wells, contact one of the regional Health Protection Branch offices listed in the blue pages of the telephone book, or visit the Department of Health website or the Emergency Measures Organization website.