We can’t control the weather, but we can prepare for it! With spring in the distance, now is the time to think about flooding. Following are some steps you can take to prepare.
1. Purchase Flood Insurance!
Just a few inches of water from a flood can cause tens of thousands of dollars in damage. Over the past 10 years, the average flood claim has amounted to over $33,000. Flood insurance is the best way to protect you from devastating financial loss. It is important to note, that most homeowners insurance does not include flood damage. Flood insurance is available to homeowners, renters, condo owners/renters, and commercial owners/renters. Costs vary depending on how much insurance is purchased, what it covers, and the property’s flood risk. Typically, there’s a 30-day waiting period—from date of purchase—before your policy goes into effect. That means now is the best time to buy flood insurance.
2. Safeguard your Possessions!
Create a personal “flood file” containing information about insurance policies, a household inventory, and copies of critical documents and keep it in a waterproof container. These documents are critically important when filing insurance claims. Keep a videotape or photographs of major household items and valuables and create files with serial numbers and store receipts for major appliances and electronics.
3. Prepare your House!
- Make sure your sump pump is working, install a battery-operated backup
- Clear debris from gutters/downspouts.
- Anchor fuel tanks.
- Place the furnace, water heater, washer, and dryer on cement blocks at least 12 inches above the projected flood elevation.
- Move furniture, valuables, and important documents to a safe place.
4. Prepare an Emergency Supply Kit!
- Water: one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation.
- Food: at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food.
- Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both.
- Flashlight and extra batteries.
- First aid kit.
- Whistle to signal for help.
- Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation.
- Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities.
- Local maps.
- Cell phone with chargers.
Check out www.floodsmart.gov for more information on flood insurance.