Depending on where you are, flooding is a threat to you and your property. Along with the changing of the seasons and climate change, flooding is an even bigger threat now. Even the flood zones are changing. Even though your home was not in a flood zone last year, your home may be in a flood zone this year.
While you can’t prevent water from rising, you can help minimize water damage if you’re prepared. The following are fifteen secrets to protect your home from a flood:
- understand the risk – By checking your house or property, you will not be surprised when the flood comes. Check if your house is in the flood zone. Ask yourself the following question: Where can the water get to our home? This applies to both what can be seen and what cannot be seen. A lot of times, it’s the invisible damage, like what’s in your driveway, that we don’t think about.
- To be prepared – Take the time to prepare as much as possible before the waters rise. Is your flood insurance up to date? You have flood winds and have you checked them to see if they work correctly? Many times, you can save a substantial amount of money on your flood insurance if you have vents in your foundation.
- Understand the power of water – If water is imminent and could move quickly, get out of your house now and get to higher 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 must also protect them. Be sure to bring your pet’s food, bedding, and medications to the new location. Put them in a pet hotel that you know will not be affected by the flood. Possibly leave them with family or friends who will be away from the flood zone. If necessary, take them with you to higher ground and away from the flood. Remember, do not let your pets walk or drink the water. There are many contaminants in the water that can make your pet sick or possibly kill them.
- Build your sandbags before you need them – If you have the resources to do so, sandbags are a great tool for containing floodwaters.
- Backup your data – Back up your computer data as soon as possible. You can use a variety of resources to back up your data to a free or low-cost backup service away from water damage. Services like Dropbox, Box, Microsoft Drive, Google Drive and many other services allow you to never lose your data due to a flood.
- Turn off your electricity and gas – Turn off all utilities to avoid possible explosion or electrical shock or damage.
- Move your valuables upstairs or lift them off the floor – Simply lifting your valuables (this includes computer systems) off the ground can save you thousands of dollars in damage and heartache. If you can get them to the second floor, that’s even better.
- Charge your phone in advance – You don’t know how long the flood will last and when the electricity will come back. Be sure to charge your cell phone so you can still have an open line of communication.
- Keep a radio and flashlight nearby – Your radio may be your only source of communication about what is happening during this challenging situation. Since the power may be out, a solar powered radio would be great. Also, have enough batteries for your flashlight(s).
- Get out of the way of fast moving water – As much as you may be tempted, don’t jump into the fast-moving water. Many people have lost their lives passing through fast waters.
- Avoid contact with water – Do not travel through the flood during and after the flood with protective clothing. The water is contaminated with sewage, chemicals, and other waste that can make you sick. Also, there may be sharp objects under the flood water that can hurt you.
- Get professional help to dry out flooded areas – Don’t do it alone. Have professionals dry the areas and access the damage.
- Contact your insurance company immediately – Call your insurance company and give them the details of your situation as soon as possible so you can be on their list to get the help you need. Be sure to get your flood insurance discount to get your vents installed.
- Take photos of the damage. – Be sure to take pictures of the damaged items to help the insurance company quickly process your claim. As a bonus tip, take pictures of your items before they get water damaged. Why? So you can prove to the insurance company the condition of the items before the flood.
While you can prevent a flood from occurring, you can minimize the damage done to your home and save thousands of dollars in damages. Implement these fifteen techniques and you will better protect your home from water damage from a flood.