Ensuring Your Home is Flood-Ready

Flooded Urban Road With Traffic Lights Floods can happen anywhere, anytime even in areas not prone to flooding. Flash floods can happen very quickly so it is important to prepare before a flood hits.

First and foremost, have an emergency plan.

Plan a meeting place that is on high ground. Have an emergency contact person who lives outside your immediate area. Make you have stored enough water, a gallon per day per person, and non perishable foods prepared for a disaster. Don't forget to include any pets in your disaster planning. Have secure carriers and leashes, food and any pet medicines.

Put all your important paperwork in one safe place.

Copies of insurance papers, mortgage information, deeds, passports, birth certificates and any other important papers should be stored in a waterproof safe or scanned to a secure online cloud program. A bank safe deposit box is an even safer place to protect all your original documents.

Inventory and safeguard your possessions.

Include in your important papers an inventory of all important household items for insurance purposes. Take pictures or video of the inside and outside of the home and all valuables including important items in the garage, attic or basement. Don't forget to have special items such as jewelry and artwork appraised for insurance purposes.

Protect your home from water damage.

Make sure you know where and how to turn off your main water and electric lines. Install a sump pump with a battery backup in your basement. Clean your gutters and downspouts to improve drainage. If you have a sewer, a sewer backflow valve can help protect your septic system.

Elevate any appliances that you can.

If possible, your furnace, water heater, and washer and dryer should be raised about 12 inches off the floor with cement blocks to avoid damage. Any electrical components or equipment should be put in as high a place as you can. It's a good idea to have plywood, plastic sheeting and sandbags ahead of time to help protect your home and appliances.

Drive Safely

At least half flood fatalities happen when people drive into floodwaters. If you have to drive during flood conditions, do not drive through flooded roads or around barriers because the water may very well be much deeper than it looks. It's always better to turn around. Moving water is the most dangerous, and could be easy to miss at night, Don't try to walk through moving flood water either. You could easily be knocked down. If you spot any downed power lines, be sure to report.
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