How to Minimize Property Damage by Planning for Flood

flood damage repairFlooding is the most common disaster in the United States, one that virtually every community deals with at one time or another. How you approach it can not only make the difference between life and death, but make a great difference in how quickly your life returns to normal. Let's review some actions you can take to prepare for a flood event, ride it out successfully and experience a smoother recovery when it's all over.

Before the flood

Make sure you're familiar with the terrain around your home or business. You may be high on a hill, but are you on a slope that may experience flash flooding? Do you live in an area that hasn't flooded in decades, but could flood under the right conditions? What is the best evacuation route? What in the surrounding area will help or hinder you if you need to evacuate? Be aware of outlets your local government and media will use to warn you of possible flooding. Make sure you'll be able to follow these outlets even if you've lost power or are away from your home or business. Make a disaster plan and involve everyone at your location. LDR offers two free manuals on how to make a disaster plan for your home and business. As part of your plan, choose a restoration company in advance that comes recommended and has plenty of expertise in water damage remediation. This will save you from having to choose a company under stress later. As part of your plan, prepare a getaway bag to use if you evacuate. Full details on what to include in the bag are in our free guide Plan, Prepare and Pass the Test. Pre-pack it in a sturdy duffel-type bag and store it in a place where you can get it quickly. Make sure you include some cash, important personal information (such as medical insurance numbers) and a sleeping bag or blankets. Place a local map in your getaway bag and in your vehicle. Make sure you have a full tank of gas.

During the flood

Monitor media and government sources and pay close attention to any announcements, especially if you're ordered to evacuate. Authorities may instruct you to take (or avoid) certain routes out of the flood zone. If you're able to do so safely, turn off the power to your house at the main electrical breaker before evacuating. Exercise great caution if you must cross flood waters. If you're on foot, don't go through running water if you can avoid it; flowing water as shallow as six inches can knock you down. Remember that any water you encounter might be contaminated. If you're driving and encounter a blocked road, don't risk crossing it, especially if the water is flowing. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has found that 39% of those killed in floods were driving. No matter what, remain calm and follow common sense. If in doubt, stay put.

After the flood

If you had to evacuate your home, do not re-enter it until authorities say it's safe. Even after that, be careful of areas that may have been weakened by the floodwaters. Guard against infection and contamination. Chemicals or biological contaminants may have been carried into your home and wet areas are excellent for growing mold and bacteria. Don't drink from household taps until you're certain the water is safe, and if you have a well, have it checked by a well contractor or local health authorities. Contact your insurance company and your restoration company as soon as you can. Follow your insurance company's instructions carefully to ensure your claim process goes as smoothly as possible. LDR Cleaning and Restoration is one of the premier restoration companies in Rockford, Illinois and Southern Wisconsin. LDR provides restoration services from water damage, mold removal, fire damage restoration, storm and hail damage repair for commercial and residential properties. Capable of handling any size loss and working with all types of insurance providers, the LDR disaster team is available 24 hours a day, 365 days per year. Click here to contact LDR, or call 1-888-874-7066. Download your free home disaster planning eBook  


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