How to Prepare a Home for a Flood & Minimize Damages
Homeowner insurance is essential in case your house floods due to a storm, but wouldn’t you rather just do without the damage in the first place?
Fortunately, you can do many things if you know a severe storm or natural disaster is looming, making a flood more likely. Protect your home and minimize damages by following the action plan below.
Contact All Dry USA, the experts in flood damage remediation, if the worst does happen.
How Do You Prepare for a Flood Before It Happens?
Being prepared for flooding can minimize damage to your property and personal possessions. It limits destruction and will help you get your life back to normal more quickly. Here are some helpful tips that you can do well in advance of any serious threat and when the storm is approaching.
1. Research If Your Area Is Prone to Flooding
Do some online research and find out if your neighborhood is prone to flooding and when the last floods happened.
FEMA has extensive flood risk resources, including information about flood mitigation and managing an insurance claim after flood damage.
Try and establish whether there is a combination of weather events for flooding in your area or if flooding is regular because you live near the ocean, a levee, or a river.
2. Learn the Lingo
Understanding flood terminology and how weather experts categorize floods can help you prepare most effectively. There is more than one type of flood.
Learn the different alert levels and what they mean, as this can make all the difference in the level of preparedness and the proper response to how quickly the water rises.
3. Upgrade According to the Level of Risk
Once you know the risk and type of flooding, you can make strategic decisions about your home.
If the area floods regularly, you can start changing some of your home’s features to help minimize damage.
Replacing hardstanding or paving outside the house with grass and soil will naturally allow some water to seep into the ground rather than accumulating at the first solid object it meets—your front door.
If your area commonly sees hurricanes and severe thunderstorms, you should have your gutters cleaned out regularly. Clogged gutters can lead to water running down the walls and seeping into your home.
4. Check Your Insurance Policy
Ensure your policy includes flood damage; most standard household policies don’t.
Some insurers are reluctant to offer cover for homes in areas that flood regularly. Check the wording carefully and also the value of the coverage.
5. Place Valuables on Higher Surfaces
If flooding is imminent, it’s time to protect your home and belongings.
Roll up rugs and carpets and take furniture, clothing, and any valuables upstairs. If you can’t do this because there is too much stuff or you just run out of time, put things in the highest possible point in each room.
6. Empty Your Fridge and Freezer
Empty the fridge and freezer of food. Cold foods will become a toxic health risk once the appliances lose power and the contents are soaked.
Leave the doors open, as this minimizes damage if they float.
7. Manage Sewage Backflow
Sewage backflow from drains can cause contamination in the home, which is expensive and time-consuming to resolve.
You can prevent backflow by placing sandbags over the toilet bowl, and the top of the bathroom and laundry drains.
8. Secure Loose Items Outside
Secure loose items in the garage and garden, like furniture and the garbage can.
9. Shut Down Power and Water
Switch off energy sources at the point they enter the property and where the power breaker is. Water and electricity are not good friends. Don’t forget the water supply. You’ll have enough of that without a burst pipe contributing to the water level.
10. Protect Vital Documents
Scan and store vital documents on the Cloud. Store anything paper, like identification documents and old photographs, in a waterproof case and take it with you when you leave.
11. Put out Sandbags
Sandbags can help delay flood water entering a home, but the timing of when you use them can be crucial. The downside of sandbags is that they are heavy, slow to lay, and hard to store without deterioration.
There is also a new design of sandless sandbags, which are much lighter and easier to move.
Consider installing flood protection devices around your property’s doorways and perimeter walls. These crates contain foam padding that swells up and creates a seal to prevent water from seeping. Fitting these in advance will give you peace of mind and should slow down rising water.
12. Stock Up
It may well be that you can move the whole family upstairs and survive on canned foods and using flashlamps if evacuation isn’t an option and the weather isn’t too cold.
Don’t forget clean drinking water and any medication. Aim to stock up on supplies to keep you going for about three days.
13. Keep Your Communication Devices Charged
In case of loss of power, keep your cell charged and have a plan to charge it from another source, like a battery bank.
While there is a risk of cell towers going down, you’ll want some form of communication to access the emergency alert system. A HAM radio is another good backup for picking up emergency alerts.
14. Plan to Evacuate
Set up a well-oiled plan for you and your family to evacuate. Consider each individual’s needs, including young children, elderly relatives, and pets.
15. Prepare for the Aftermath
Sometimes, even with every possible effort, a property will still flood—you can’t cheat Mother Nature.
Have an action plan to get in there and start remediation work as soon as possible. Prompt action will minimize damage and return your home back to normal again quickly.
Suffering From Water Damage? We Can Help!
All Dry USA are the experts in flood remediation and restoration services. Years of experience make us leaders in property renovation after a flood event. Call us to help minimize damage and get you back into your home as quickly as possible.