- Before re-entering a building, check for structural damage. Make sure it is not in danger of collapsing. Turn off any outside gas lines at the meter or tank, and let the building air out for several minutes to remove foul odors or escaping gas.
- Watch for electrical shorts or live wires before turning off the main power switch. Do not turn on any lights or appliances until an electrician has checked the system for short circuits.
- Cover broken windows and holes in the roof or walls to prevent further weather damage.
- Throw out fresh food and previously opened medicines that have come in contact with floodwaters.
- New York City tap water is safe to drink, including in areas with flooding, unless otherwise reported by City officials. If your water service was disrupted run the tap for at least 30 seconds and until the water runs cold and clear. Replace all ice machine filters and beverage dispenser filters, and flush all water lines for five minutes. Monitor www.nyc.gov/dep for any updates on NYC drinking water.
ASSESSING AND REPAIRING DAMAGE
Owners who want to reoccupy residences damaged by flooding should first hire an architect or engineer to assess the building's safety. If the building is not safe to occupy, the owners should seek alternative housing arrangements while repairs are made. If assistance is needed to retrieve personal belongings from vacated buildings, owners should contact 311 online.
Owners should take pictures of all damage and flood impacts and keep receipts for all repairs if they intend to apply for disaster assistance or to make an insurance claim.
Learn how to make insurance claims when you experience flood damage
To make repairs, owners need to work with an engineer or architect who has the necessary City-authorized permits. The City adivses residents to obtain two or three quotes from different contractors before beginning the work, which can vary widely in price depending on various field conditions. If an owner needs assistance with applications for permits, he or she should contact 311 online.
See more flood recovery resources
When individuals are not able to reoccupy residences because of evacuation orders issued by the City, the Department of Housing Preservation and Development's (HPD's) Emergency Housing Services Bureau provides emergency relocation services. To contact HPD for information about eligibility or to learn about other programs after damaging storms, contact 311 online.