"DISCONNECT POWER TO THE HOUSE"
If the water level reaches a foot or more you should disconnect power to the house. Water levels may have reached electrical outlets, appliance feeds and appliance motors causing a shock hazard.
"OUTFIT YOURSELF WITH PROTECTIVE CLOTHING"
Water damage caused from exterior sources are categorized as Category III water damage. This means that in the water there may be microorganisms and pollutants that can make you sick. Outfit yourself with protective clothing, rubber boots, rubber gloves and a face mask.
"PROTECT UNDAMAGED SECTIONS OF YOUR HOUSE"
Isolate the damaged from the undamaged. Isolate the basement from the main levels of the house using plastic sheathing to mask off doors to those levels. When working in the contaminated basement use an exterior door or bulkhead with direct access.
"REMOVE THE WATER"
Using a gas or electric pump, pump the water from the basement. If you shut down the electricity to the house you will need a generator to power your electrical tools. Once you have pumped the water to surface level, use a shop vac to remove any remaining surface water and puddles.
You will need to determine salvageable items from non salvageable. A good rule of thumb is discarding all porous materials as they absorb water, such as clothing, upholstery, carpeting, stuffed animals, paper and boxed goods, and all consumables. Electrical appliances and tools that were submerged should be discarded. Hard furnishing and hand tools can be cleaned and saved. Use a disinfectant cleaner to clean salvageable items.
"REMOVE BUILDING MATERIALS"
Remove all sheetrock, carpeting, paneling, porous flooring material and insulation that are water damaged. A good rule of thumb when removing sheetrock is to cut 12 inches above the water line.
"CLEAN THE AREA"
Clean the remaining fixed surfaces that are contaminated using a pump sprayer and a good disinfectant (both can be purchased from your local hardware store). Spray all the remaining surfaces that came in contact with the ground water. Lightly pressure wash these surfaces and extract using a shop vac. If a pressure washer is not available, lightly rinse it with a garden hose and nozzle. Disinfect, spray again and let it dry.
The best method of drying is to use commercial dehumidifiers, which can be rented from any rental company. Two to three days should be adequate. If using dehumidifiers, all openings to the space should be closed and the water drained into a basement drain or outside. Also, before you can use this appliance you will need to hire an electrician to isolate any damaged outlets in the basement and provide you with an outlet to power the dehumidifiers. If dehumidifiers are not an option, door and windows should be open, weather permitting, to maintain sufficient flow for drying.