Natural disasters are something we are hearing about far more on the news than ever before, most recently being the flooding of New York’s subways, something which took many commuters by surprise.
While information abounds on wildfire prevention and how to react during wildfire season, flooding information is not as widely publicised. However, flooding accounts for one of the largest amounts of all damages sustained during natural disasters. Which is why knowing how to protect your family and property – regardless of if you are sheltering at home or evacuating – is prudent.
- Ensure You Have Flood insurance
Most homeowners are unaware that their insurance providers usually do not cover flood damage. Check yours to ensure that it is covered, otherwise researching insurance providers and mortgage lenders to find the best place – especially if your property is in or near a flood plain. The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) will price a flood insurance policy for homeowners based on several factors including property age, number of floors, and the properties elevation.
- Have A Disaster Kit Ready
Like those who live in hurricane areas, having a disaster ready kit packed with food and water for three days is a good idea – since you never know if a flood warning will be issued late at night, or right after you arrive home from work. Changing the perishable emergency kit items out every six months or so ensures that you cater for the current weather conditions and keep your food stores relatively fresh.
Along with hygiene items, masks, and lighting options, easy to eat items like canned goods and crackers are a good idea, along with adequate water. A change or two of clothes along with shoes and socks in each kit is recommended as well, and do not forget to have copies of your insurance papers and identity documents. If you have small children or pets, ensure you have a pack ready for them as well, in the event you need to quickly evacuate. Items like photographs should be backed up on the cloud or be on hard drives and included in your kit for big winning relief.
- Raise Them Up
If you cannot remove sentimental items with you during your evacuation, then ensuring they are out of the flood zone risk area and on a higher floor will help to mitigate the risk of them getting severely damaged. This also goes for electrical items like televisions as well as raising items like washers, driers, and furnaces off the floor and onto something like a cinder block.
- Adequate Flood Preparation
For your home, ensure you have plenty of sandbags in easy to reach areas which you can fill ahead of time and put along your property perimeter to try and mitigate any damages that may occur – as every little bit can help. Any items which would be in danger of being washed away should be safely stowed out of reach of flood waters – in a garden shed, the garage or your basement.
Prudent things to consider purchasing for flood preparations:
- Sealing up foundational cracks with caulk or mortar to try and stop water seeping into the house’s foundation will prevent the flood from destabilising things too quickly.
- Waterproof sealants are relatively inexpensive and can be applied to entryway areas like doorways, windows, and walls to help prevent moisture entering.
- A sump pump – a bit of a pricey, but a battery powered sump pump will be invaluable should water enter your home and your area has an electric outage due to flooding.