Flood Preparation Resource Guide
Flooding is an unfortunate fact of life, between heavy spring run-off, natural disasters, extreme weather and even mismanagement of dams, the reality is flooding can happen anywhere. When a flood does happen, it can be instantly devastating. Floods can be dangerous and scary but being prepared can help make the bad times a little easier. The right flood preparation plan can not only keep you safe, but it can help you minimize the damage to your home and property.
Before the Flood
Know Your Flood Risk
Check Your Flood Plain Map:
Get Flood Insurance
Once you’ve determined your risk, the next step is to look into flood insurance. The National Flood Insurance Program has been helping people for over 50 years to reduce the impact of flooding on homes and businesses. Homeowner’s insurance does not cover flood damage. Don’t wait if you think you need the insurance, there is generally a 30 day period before flood insurance takes effect, so you do not want to be caught unprepared.
Plan Evacuation Routes
Get together with your family and create an evacuation route. Use the floodplain map and general area maps to determine the best possible route. Create several backup routes so you have a plan in case weather or other forces keep you shut off from your main evacuation route. Make sure everyone in your family knows the plan.
Many families opt to create a storage of supplies for floods or other emergencies. Think about gathering things like flashlights, blankets, extra clothes, towels, nonperishable food items, whatever you can think of that would be easy to access during an evacuation or a strong storm.
Invest in a Generator and Sump Pump
If you are able, investing in some equipment for your home could be useful for flooding situations, as well as other emergencies. Having a sump pump on hand can help if flooding reaches your home and your basement. If the storm causes a loss in power, having a generator can help power that pump, as well as help you with any other electrical needs if the grid is down.
During the Flood
If a flood seems eminent, or you are under a flood warning you make need to take a few more serious precautions.
Protect Your Belongings
If you are preparing your home to withstand a flood, you may consider protecting your most important items. Documents, pictures, and small keep sakes can be kept in waterproof containers or safes. You can also move your valuables to a higher level and get as many of your belongings off the floor as possible.
Set Up Sandbags
Sandbags can act as a deterrent, keeping the water diverted away from your home when properly placed in a perimeter around your property. Sandbags can get difficult to find quickly if a flood is impending, so preparing and having this on hand is a sound investment.
Tips To Follow If You’re Under a Flood Warning
If you are under a flood warning, please follow these tips from the United States Department of Homeland Security’s Ready Campaign Flood Preparedness Page.
- 1. Turn Around, Don’t Drown
- Do not walk, swim or drive through flood waters. Just six inches of moving water can knock you down, and one foot of moving water can sweep your vehicle away.
- 2. Stay off Bridges
- Avoid bridges, especially those crossing over fast-moving water. Fast-moving water can wash bridges away without warning.
- 3. Evacuate
- If there is an evacuation order in place, please evacuate immediately. Never drive around barricades. Local responders use them to safely direct traffic out of flooded areas.
- 4. Tune In
- Sign up for your community’s warning system before you are in an emergency flood situation and pay attention to alerts. The Emergency Alert System (EAS) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio also provide emergency alerts in Flood Warning situations.
After the Flood
Avoid Dangerous Situations
If the flood was serious enough that it required evacuation, then you will want to make sure the area is safe for you return. Check for any visible damage to your structure. If you think there might be any damage to your utility lines, contact the right utility company immediately.
Even if the flood waters look clear, keep in mind they can be contaminated with sewer waste or household chemicals. If you are going to go near the water, wear proper protection.
It is good to have a visual history of the situation so you can fully document damage and repairs for your insurance company. Take the pictures immediately, as you do not want to decrease the extent of your coverage by waiting to take pictures after water has begun to recede.
Call Your Insurance Company
Notify your insurance agent as soon as possible if you have applicable insurance. Keep their number in your emergency bag or in your phone to be sure you can reach them in an emergency.
Call for Restoration Services
Whether you have insurance or not, your next call should be to a restoration company like Complete Restoration Services. We can help you reverse the damage the flood put on your home and property. Restoration companies are your quickest route back to living a normal life after a flood has changed everything.
If you need help restoring your home from flood damage, contact the experts here at Complete Restoration Services and we can help repair the damage and restore your home back to normal, so don’t wait, give us a call today.
Additional Flood Resources
For more information to help you prepare for a flood, please visit the following resources: