One of the worst situations to deal with is flooding homes. Your possessions, memories, and time can all be washed away from high water. High water can also endanger lives. The best thing to do is to prepare your family and property for a flooding natural disaster. If you can learn to successfully maneuver before, during, and after a flood, then you can save your family and yourself lots of money and heartache.
Remember, insurance may not cover everything. Follow these tips to protect yourself.
Does your home rest on a flood plain? A professional surveyor can tell a homeowner if their home is in a flood plain. Some cities have zoned maps showing areas that can flood easily. A cheaper way to determine the water flow is to study and observe your own home during the next rain. Note where the water pools and rushes.
Check with your local insurance agent to see if your homeowner’s insurance policy has flood protection. Most do not have a flood clause. Insurance agents in areas with regular flooding will notify prospective home buyers. Consider adding flood insurance for a small premium. Be sure to go over the exact coverage and specify what is protected. An easy ultimate guide could make your life easier.
Preparations for Regularly Flooding Homes
Whether a home is near the coast or a flooding plain, the first line of defense should be measures prepared by a homeowner. Purchase and store sandbags well in advance of a storm. Start stacking the sandbags hours before the rain or rushing water. A homeowner may not have enough time to deploy countermeasures in the event of a flash flood. Another strong option is installing drains. After the problem areas are identified, consider investing in drains to direct water away from your property. Constant pooling water near your home can cause the foundation to or basement to weaken. Homeowners near large bodies of water who want to avoid all flood damage to their property should add levees to the property. Significant flooding can still overwhelm embarkments, but this would be an extreme outlier.
Insurance agents always want records of assets to calculate damage. Generally, they also want proof for your valuables – record of their existence. Taking pictures and keeping receipts in your name should suffice.
Whether they are in a plastic bag or in a safe in a high-up attic, protecting documents in flooding homes should be a priority. Birth certificates, titles, deeds, licenses, and all major paperwork should be in areas that cannot be touched by water. It can take months or even years to recover these documents.
Drains and Eaves
Flooding can happen even if you’re not in a flooding area or near a river or ocean. Clean your gutters and drains twice a year. Leaves, sediment, and other obstructions can cause water to build up and spill over on to the ground near your foundation instead of flowing away. That water can leak into the basement or crawl space and cause major damage to your house. If you are looking at a home to purchase, check to see if they are lots of trees nearby. Also, check to make sure the gutters are bowing so water won’t pool in the middle.
Unless a basement has been sealed, it is probably best not to store any valuable or expensive items in the basement. Attics and upper rooms are generally dry and well insulated.
If there is an impending flood approaching, turn off your main breaker. If the water is flooding your home, electronics and appliances can electrocute you causing severe damage or death. While human safety should be first priority if a person has the time they should shut off all utilities before seeking shelter or higher ground. Failure to this can cause increased major damage to your home, appliances, and service lines.
A possible option to deal with flooding homes includes raising your home off the ground. This might not be feasible for everyone, but it could prevent water from entering your home. Garages, washers and dryers, and stoves can be put on cinder blocks or wooden platforms to protect them from damage. Any structures such as a shed or gazebo can also be raised when they are built or installed. An HVAC unit outside can sit on a concrete impression to help mitigate high water damage.
Save Some Money
Don’t let imminent flood waters damage everything. There are some cost-saving measures to take in the wake of probable ruin. After turning off utilities, you can open the windows on the first floor. With lots of high rushing water, windows normally break during the flood. Opening the windows relieves pressure and possibly saves you the hassle of window shopping after the flood.
Your safety is paramount during a flood. Adhere to these safety tips for during and after a flood:
- Avoid operating a vehicle. Cars and trucks can be swept away by strong waters.
- If you have left your home, do not return to check out the damage until local authorities say it is safe.
- Do not drink any standing water. The flood has contaminated the water with debris and chemicals from the disaster area.
- Do not wade or swim in the water. In most cases, the water is not clear and you will not be able to see any sharp edges or hurtful debris.
- If you are on higher ground, avoid touching the water or wet electronics until you know you cannot be electrocuted.
- Wear protective gear and solid footwear when starting to clean. Outside of debris and chemicals, there could also be wildlife present.
- Bring clean drinking water and flashlights for during and after a flood.
- Follow weather updates and safety reports from a secure location.
A Flood of Knowledge
Now that you know some tips for dealing with flooding homes, you can make the right choices for you and your family. There is no need to build a boat, but having an emergency plan is a start.