Floods can happen in the blink of an eye and leave you with weeks or months of cleaning up and recovery.

Sure, it is devastating, but life has to go on right? The following are 10 quick tips on coping up and cleaning up after a flood has ravaged your home, in case you find yourself in such a predicament:

1) Before you begin, take pictures or videos of the damages sustained. This is important for insurance claim or other related matters later.

2) DO NOT switch on any electrical appliances when they are still wet. Doing so could cause more damage than what the floodwaters has done to your beloved television or washing machine. Experts recommend letting the appliances dry out for at least five days before any attempt is done.

3) Wear sufficient protective clothing when you start the cleaning task. These include gloves and thick-soled wellington boots, as there could be sharp debris strewn about, as well as rodents, insects, or other dangerous animals like reptiles or snakes. The water may also be mixed with sewage water so it is best to keep yourself covered at all times.

4) No matter how exhausted you are while cleaning up, DO NOT touch the food that has been touched by the floodwaters. The same goes to food from the fridge that has been switched off for four hours, or from a freezer after 24 hours.

5) DO NOT drink tap water, especially if you notice a change in colour, taste or smell of the water.

6) You need to get rid of as much floodwater and silt as possible, before you embark on a clean-up task. A waterjet will come in handy for this job. Experts recommend cleaning up fabric-related items, such as carpets and clothes first, as they are harder to clean when the mud has hardened. Kitchen utensils can be cleaned last, as they just need a good rinse with soap.

7) Once most of the water is out, dry out the cleaned items. Put them to dry under the hot sun, or use a hair dryer, where necessary. Drying out wet things is crucial to ensure mold from settling in, and also helps in driving the odour out.

8) It may be expensive but not all items can be salvaged by cleaning and drying. You may have to get rid of some items entirely, such as wooden furniture, and get new ones to replace them. The same goes to certain electrical appliances.

9) Once all these is done, it is best to disinfect the walls and other hard surfaces of the houses with soap and hot water until they are clean. In the kitchen area, you can use disinfectant to clean up the surfaces. Wait for them to completely dry out before attempting to redecorate, to prevent mould from setting in.

10) When in doubt, seek professional help. Not all us would have lived through a flood, let alone know how to handle things the way they are supposed to, after the tragedy has happened. Look out for financial aid from your local or the federal government for flood victims as recovering can be an expensive affair. In the long term, once you have passed through this phase, look for ways to guard your house from recurring floods in the future, such as elevating the floor, among others.

So there you go, 10 quick tips to get you past the hardship of cleaning up after a flood tragedy. Hope it would be of help in these trying times.

Source: onehome.org.uk, The Rakyat Post
Photo source: Getty Images via familyhandyman.com