As a homeowner, preparation is key to handling disasters. So before a water damage event ever occurs in your home, commit these five dos and don’ts to memory.

DO turn off the water supply immediately. If the emergency is related to your home’s plumbing, several gallons of water per minute could be flooding into the house. Know where your water supply shutoff valve is located before an emergency ever occurs. And if a pipe breaks or water begins to back up into your house, turn off the water supply immediately. Stop dishwashers and washing machines if they’re running, too.

DO turn off your power. Standing water can create an electrocution hazard. Turn off the power to your home once you’ve stopped the flow of water.

DO be proactive in removing water and increasing air flow. If the water does not contain sewage, you can begin to mop it up or throw down towels. Open windows and turn on ceiling fans right away, to circulate air through the area. Doing this can help water to evaporate and possibly prevent mildew and mold.

DON’T attempt to work with dirty water. If your home has been flooded from the outside or by sewage, the water could be contaminated with dangerous pathogens. Don’t wade into the water or attempt to clean it up, because you could risk your health. Experts with special equipment should handle this job.

DON’T delay. If you experience a water damage event, don’t wait to ask for help. Call us right away and we can get started on saving as much of your home as possible. Contact your homeowners insurance agent too, so that they can guide you through the claims process if necessary. The sooner we get started, the more likely it is that we can restore your home quickly, save personal items, and prevent severe mold problems from developing.