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    HFGWM Press

    Real Estate Manager Checklist: What to Do After a Flood

    Flooding is one of the worst natural disasters that a real estate manager may have to deal with. Here are some suggestions for how to avoid additional issues as you begin picking up the pieces after flooding on your property.


     Contact City Building Inspector or Fire Chief to verify if building is safe to enter

     Inspect the building at the earliest opportunity to assess its condition

     Do not go into a building if it is still flooded or if there is standing water next to the outside walls (the building may not be structurally sound)

     Walk around the building and check for downed or loose power lines and gas leaks

    o Contact the appropriate utility company if observed

     Before restoring power or beginning clean-up:

    o Check the foundation for cracks and examine overhangs for missing structural supports


     Turn off electricity at the main circuit breaker (if you can reach it without stepping in water, or call an electrician)

    o Avoid live wires and do not turn on electrical appliances until an electrician determines it is safe to do so

     Turn off water supply if there are broken or leaking pipes

     Wear sturdy shoes and watch out for flood-damaged materials


     Engage disaster recovery contractors to minimize loss and fast-track restoration efforts

     Pump out water gradually to minimize structural damage (e.g. one-third of the water each day for three days)

     Check ceilings, walls and drywall for signs of sagging

    Poke or drill a hole at the edge of the sagging area (away from electrical fixtures) to allow trapped water to drain

     Cover holes in roof, windows and walls with boards, tarps or plastic sheets

    o Brace sagging floors and roofs with 4 x 4 boards

     Circulate air throughout the building to reduce moisture and dissipate gas leaks

    o Use dehumidifiers and fans to speed up evaporation

    o Consult a professional to determine mold damage and remediation

     Replace water sodden wallboard and insulation

     Dry or remove clothing, bedding and other materials that may harbor mold or mildew

     Replace or thoroughly dry appliances

     Secure the property to guard against looters


     Call your insurance company. Check your policy for requirements about reporting a loss.

    o Complete initial incident report that captures the period immediately before and after the loss:

    o Document the damage – take photographs or video

    o List injuries, deaths, interactions with first responders, and actions taken by staff


     “Floods, Droughts and Landslides,” Before and After Disaster Strikes, IREM 2012

     Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA): http://www.ready.gov/floods

     National Flood Insurance Program: http://www.floodsmart.gov

     American Red Cross: http://www.redcross.org

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