From Vacation to Devastation: What To Do If You Come Home To A Flood

What to do if you come home to a flood.

It’s a traveler’s worst nightmare: arriving home to find a flooded house. Here are the six things you should do immediately if you come home to a flood.

 Know where your home's main water supply shut-off is located, and how to use it.Turn off the water

Go immediately to your home’s main water supply shut-off and turn off the water. Then open a faucet and let the water run out of your system.

Find more info about how to locate and turn off your main water supply shut-off here:






Call 911

If you have any question about your safety, dial 911. Your local fire department can respond and make sure it’s safe for you to be in the home.

Call Your Insurance Company

Your insurance company can immediately advise you about what steps to take next. Water damage and freezing is the second most frequent cause of homeowner’s policy claims, so the insurance company is well practiced in how to react to your flood.

Call a Disaster Cleanup service

A specialized disaster cleanup service (such as ServPro) can respond quickly and start drying out your house. With the tools and expertise to deal with most any catastrophe, often they will send the bill directly to your insurance carrier. Ask your insurance company if they recommend a specific disaster cleanup service in your area.

Take Pictures

Before you even attempt to clean up the mess or move a single damaged thing, take pictures of the devastation. This provides a record for your insurance company showing the extent and location of visible damage, and destruction to the contents of your home. The next 24 hours will be a blur – these photos can be invaluable as you try to recall exactly what areas may have sustained damage and what things looked like before walls and flooring were removed. Take pictures throughout the process – you really can’t take too many.

Take Notes

Find a notepad where you can keep notes. Within a few hours you’re going to have an insurance claim number and a whole bunch of contacts and phone numbers to keep track of. You’re also going to have a lot of questions and answers. Write everything down so you can remember it later.


How to prevent water damage when you go on vacation.

Learn how to prevent water damage when you go on vacation.

I hope that you are reading this post as a precaution, so you’ll be ready if disaster hits. If so, I also recommend you read my flood prevention article: What I Learned After My Refrigerator Destroyed My House: How to Prevent Water Damage In Your Home When You Go On Vacation


READ Celebrates Two Years








If you have just discovered your house full of water, I am so sorry this happened to you. I wish you well as you deal with your disaster, and I hope these tips help you get through today just a little easier.


For more information about how to handle a flood at your house, and prevention tips, visit my Preventing Water Damage board on Pinterest: