Flood Water Prevention
Anywhere it rains heavy for long periods of time, levees break, drainage systems are clogged or old and where there are hurricanes and tropical storms, flooding can result. Floods can happen anywhere and to any property. There are preparations that can help minimize the potential flood damage and speed up the damage recovery after a flood.
The first thing that needs to be done is to get flood insurance. After that, there are other preparations and preventive actions that you can do to lessen the losses in the home. Creating a file (flood file) with information on all of your possessions will help you and the insurance company if there is any flood damage. The insurance company can process the claim faster and you can get on with the damage recovery process. This "flood file" should contain; a copy of the insurance policy with the companies phone number and any other important documents. It should also have a room by room inventory sheet of all your possessions. Photographs and video would also greatly help with the documentation. Make sure the "flood file" is kept in a secure waterproof container.
As with any prevention process there are preventive actions that can be done around the house to prepare your home for a potential flood. If you have a sump pump ensure it is in working condition. Clean leaves and debris from downspouts and gutters. Make sure (especially if you are in a high risk zone) that the washer and dryer, furnace and water heater are on cement blocks. They should be at least one foot above the elevated flood projection. Also, the electrical components need to be at least a foot above the elevated flood projection.
Developing a family emergency plan is also a great idea to help prepare for the possibility of a potential flood. Prepare a safety kit with drinking water, blankets, first aid kit, batteries, flashlight and a radio. Plan and practice your family flood evacuation routes and safe routes when on the road. Everyone in the home needs to know emergency phone numbers and have an out of state emergency family contact. If you have pets, they have to be considered too.
Educating yourself on flooding and flood risks will give you an idea of what kind of flood insurance you will need, the extent of flood preparations that need to be done to your home and a better understanding of flood areas. Flood maps of all areas are made to show the high risk, moderate-to-low risk and the undetermined risk flood areas. High risk flood areas are most likely to flood with the right conditions. All this information will help you prepare, plan and make informed decisions on flood damage prevention and safety.