Spring rains and summer storms set the stage for flooding issues for many homeowners. While we can’t control Mother Nature, we can take certain important preventative measures to help minimize potential damage and enhance personal safety.
Bear in mind, you don’t have to live close to a body of water to be considered a flood risk. Floods often strike the most unsuspecting homeowners the worst. To determine if you’re in a flood zone area, visit msc.fema.gov, part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) website. Then make the following steps part of your action list when heavy rain and possible flooding is forecast:
- Move anything of value, including furniture, electrical equipment and valuables (such as photographs and sentimental items) to upper floors.
- Prepare an emergency kit in case you are trapped or need to evacuate – this should include blankets, flares, flashlights, batteries, waterproof clothing, food, water, a shovel and a first aid kit.
- If you don’t already know, find out how to turn off the electricity supply (and make sure you know how to do so in the dark, which may be necessary).
- Prepare a list of important emergency phone numbers, including emergency help lines for your local water company and insurance company.
- Make copies of all your important documents and store them in a dry safe place which is easily accessible.
- If there is a forecasted or recurring problem, prepare for flooding by placing sandbags around the perimeter of your house, especially doorways and places where water can easily seep in.
- Relocate your cars to safer areas.
- Above all, adhere strictly to any and all evacuation warnings to prevent unnecessary tragedies.
Many of the above steps are important to follow for any potential emergency situation. Also check with your insurance agency to make sure your home has the proper coverage for flood or other weather-related issues your home may be prone to.