Yesterday I found out that, luckily, all of my family fared pretty well during Hurricane Sandy. As the huge storm blew through Connecticut, my parents house remained standing, and luckily nothing was badly damaged.
They did, however, have some flooding in the basement. Nobody was that surprised to find this out, since even a little bit of spring rain will cause major puddles to form on the tile floor of the old house I grew up in, it just seems unavoidable.
Since the rains and cloudy weather finally subsided today, my parents spent the entirety of the day working to dry out the flooded basement. They used the shop-vac, towels and squeegees to get all of the water out, and then had to tackle the fact that a number of things they had been keeping down there were now waterlogged.
Because many of these possessions were important to them, it would have been sad and expensive for my parents to throw everything that had gotten wet away, so they decided to do what they could to salvage these items.
Years of experience drying out the flooded space have taught them that the best way to keep these items from becoming permanently damaged is to dry them out as soon as possible. They laid everything out on the no longer flooded floor, and then turned on several electric fans to blast them with dry air.
Of course, they were careful to make sure that the electric fan had not been damaged by the water, since this could have been hazardous. But overall, cleaning up from a flood isn't as hard is you would think, and if you do it right away, you can avoid long-term problems.