How to Prepare for a Flood

Hurricane season starts at the beginning of June, and with it comes severe storms and heavy rain. Living by the coast or a body of water increases your risk of flooding. Whether it’s flash floods or minor basement flooding, you don’t want your valuables to be wrecked. Flood damage can be very costly, so you’ll want to make sure your home is prepared in case it starts to fill with water. 

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If your home does flood, you’ll want to be certain that you have the important documents that your family needs. This includes birth certificates, insurance policies, financial records, and medical information. Then, you’ll want to put together an inventory list of important household items. Make sure to get written and visual documents of your furniture, appliances, electronics, artwork, jewelry, and other valuables that could be lost or damaged in a flood. Make a list, take pictures, and document these items’ serial numbers, store receipts, or appraisal value because this will be important when filing for an insurance claim. Store these in a safe place, such as a safety deposit box, to protect them.

Prepare Your Home

There are a few steps to take to ensure your home is prepared for a flood. First, you’ll want to confirm that your sump pump is working. This is the best defense against minor flooding. Just in case of a power outage, it is good to have a battery operated back up installed. Next thing you’ll want to do is clean your gutters and downspouts. You’ll want to make sure that they are clear of debris so they can properly drain water.

Check to see if your electrical components such as sockets, switches, wiring, and circuit breaker are at least a foot above your home’s projected flood elevation. You’ll also want to raise your water heater, furnace, washer, and dryer on cement blocks to elevate them a foot above flood elevation as well. Move any valuables, furniture, and rugs to higher levels in the house to prevent them from being damaged from basement flooding.

If you have fuel tanks, anchor them securely to the floor. The water level could cause them to float, tip, or spill, leaking petroleum fuel. This is a major health hazard and very costly, if possible, to clean up. If it’s not possible to clean up, your home may come inhabitable due to hazardous petroleum vapors. Emptying out the tanks and filling them with water will help reduce their buoyancy.

Have an Emergency Plan

Taking care of your family’s safety is very important. Take the time to map out an evacuation route from your family’s home, offices, and schools that take higher ground. Practice this route and share it with your family members so they are prepared as well. The next thing you’ll want to get together is an emergency safety kit. The basics of this kit include water, non-perishable food, blankets, batteries, chargers, flashlights, and a first-aid kit. You should have these items packed and ready to go in case you need to evacuate quickly. If you have pets, create a special kit for them too. You’ll want to be certain that you have the necessary identification, collar, leash, carrying cases, food and water for them too.

Flood Insurance

Finally, you’ll want to be sure your home is covered in case of a flood. Standard homeowners insurance does not cover flood damages, therefore, you need a flood insurance policy to be protected. Flood insurance covers damages to the structure, wiring, plumbing, and flooring of your home, as well as compensating for loss or damage of your covered personal property.

For a more detailed guide on how to prepare your home for a flood, view our free download here.

If you have any questions regarding flood insurance, feel free to contact the office of TJ Woods Insurance. You can speak to one of our agents, or request a free quote to make sure your home is protected against flood damage.