After a flood, quick action needs taken to reduce the damage that the flooding occurs. Most furnishing in the home can quickly rust, rot or grow mold. Home electronics also need quick action if they are to be saved. Large appliances, such as washers and dryers, with electric motors are generally ruined when flooded. This is due to the presence of insulation inside the appliances that is difficult to dry quickly. However, small electronic devices are surprisingly resilient. The power to the flooded building should be turned off before doing any flood cleanup.
Electronics that were plugged in or operating on batteries when the flood damage in Phoenix AZ occurred are more likely to be damaged than electronics that were not. When a device was using power when it was flooded, it is more likely to have short circuited, blown fuses or suffered other serious damage. Depending on the value of the device and the complexity of the repair, it may be more affordable to replace a device than to repair it.
Devices that were not on or receiving power when they are flooded will most likely suffer no permanent damage. However, flood water may leave deposits of mud and other materials in and on the device. Devices that are caked in mud will have to be carefully cleaned to remove the deposits. A garden hose or other supply of clean water can be used to wash away deposits. The device will then need to be dried as well as possible with a soft cloth. Rubbing alcohol or another fast-drying substance can be then be applied to the circuit boards with a cotton swab. The alcohol will displace any remaining water and quickly dry. The device cannot be tested until it is certain that the entire device is dry.
If an electronic device that contains storage has been destroyed, it may still be possible to retrieve the stored information. Information on memory cards should be easily accessed by removing it, cleaning it and placing it into a compatible device. Electronic devices without removable storage, such as desktop computers and smart phones, may need professional data retrieval. The memory cards can be removed, cleaned, dried and placed into another device.