Fifteen Secrets to Protecting Your Home from a Flood
Depending on where you are, floods are a threat to you and your property. Along with the changing of the seasons and climate change, floods are even more of a threat now. Even flood zones are changing. While your home wasn’t in a flood zone last year, your home may be in a flood zone this year.
While you can't stop the water from rising, you can help minimize the damage of the water by being prepared. The following are fifteen secrets for protecting your home a flood:
- Understand the risk – By reviewing your home or property, you will not be surprised when the flood does hit. Check to see if your home is in the flood zone. Ask the following question: Where can water get in our home? This applies to both what can be seen and unseen. Many times, it is the unseen damage, like what is in your crawl space, that we don’t think about.
- Be prepared – Take the time to prepare as much as possible ahead of the rising waters. Is your flood insurance up to date? Do you have flood vents and have you checked them to see if they are working correctly? Many times, you can save a substantial amount of money on your flood insurance if you have flood vents in your foundation.
- Understand the power of water – If the water is imminent and could be fast-moving, leave your home now and get to high ground! When it comes to fast-moving water versus humans, water will win every time. Get to high ground as fast as possible.
- Think about Your pets – Pets are like your family. And just like your family, you need to protect them also. Make sure to bring your pet’s food, bedding, and medicine to the new location. Put them in a pet hotel that you know will not be affected by the flood. Possibly leave them with relatives or friends that will be far away from the flood area. If you need to, take them with you to high ground and away from the flood. Remember, do not allow your pets to walk through or drink the water. There are many contaminants in the water that can make your pet sick or possibly kill your pet.
- Build your sandbags before you need them – If you have the resources to do so, sandbags are a great tool for holding back the waters.
- Backup your data – Backup your computer data as soon as possible. You can use a variety of resources to back up your data to a free or low-fee backup service far away from water damage. Services like Dropbox, Box, Microsoft Drive, Google Drive, and many other services allow for you to never lose your data due to flooding.
- Turn off your electricity and gas – Turn off all utilities to stop possible explosions or electrical shock or damage.
- Move your valuables upstairs or raise them off the floor – By simply raising your valuables (this includes computer systems) off the floor can save you thousands of dollars in damage and heartache. If you can take them to the second floor, that is even better.
- Charge your phone ahead of time – You don’t know how long the flood will last and when power will return. Make sure you charge your cell phone so that you can still have an open line of communication.
- Keep a radio and flashlight close – Your radio may be your only source of communication for what is happening during this challenging situation. Since power may be off, a solar-powered radio would be great. Also, have enough batteries for your flashlight(s).
- Move out of the way of fast-moving water – As much as you are tempted, do not wade into the fast-moving water. Many a person has lost their life going through fast-moving water.
- Avoid contact with the water – Do not go through the high water during and after the flood with protective clothing. The water is contaminated with sewage, chemicals, and other waste that can make you sick. Also, under the flood water may be sharp objects that can harm you.
- Get professional help to dry out any flooded areas – Don’t do it alone. Get the professionals to dry out any areas and access the damages.
- Immediately contact your insurance company – Call your insurance company and give them the details of your situation ASAP so that you can get on their list to give you the help you needed. Make sure you get your flood insurance discount for installing your flood vents.
- Take photos of the damage – Make sure to take pictures of the damaged items to help the insurance company quickly process your claim. As an extra tip, take pictures of items of your items before the water damage. Why? So that you can prove to the insurance company the condition of the items before the flood.
While you can stop a flood from happening, you can minimize the damage done to your home and save you thousands of dollars in damage. Implement these fifteen techniques and you will better protect your home from the water damage of a flood.
FEMA Flood Map: https://msc.fema.gov/portal
Flood Vents: http://bit.ly/csdsfloodvents
Flood Insurance: http://bit.ly/csdsfloodinsurancetips