You aren't able to control weather patterns, but there are plenty of ways you can prepare for flooding by implementing some of the following recommendations from FEMA. They can help keep your belongings safe and away from harm.
Floods are the single-largest weather-related disaster in the U.S., according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, with even a few inches of water costing hundreds, if not thousands of dollars to fix.
- Remove all portable, low-lying possessions to higher ground, if not on another floor than on available shelf space.
- Get as much as you can out of the basement, such as important documents, mementos and pictures.
- Retrieve outdoor furniture and store in areas where flood waters can't reach.
- If possible, elevate bulky appliances (like washers and dryers) so they're off the ground, using cinder blocks. Ensure that all wiring is raised as well.
- Follow all directions and instructions ordered by state or local officials.
- Turn off all gas and electricity lines at the main source if flooding appears imminent.
- Build or resupply an emergency preparedness kit, including essentials like a 72-hour supply of water, non-perishable food, first-aid supplies, a flashlight and batteries.
- Pay attention to local weather reports via television and/or radio, as the track and intensity of the storm may change.
- Steer clear of downed power lines.
- Do not walk through standing water as it may be contaminated.
- Disconnect electrical appliances from outlets, specifically those that are low to the ground.
- Understand the differences between flood "watches" and "warnings." A flood watch means flooding is possible, while a warning suggests it's imminent.
- Avoid driving over bridges and roadways overrun by water. As little as six inches can cause a vehicle to lift off the ground.
- Abide by evacuation orders.
- Download apps to your mobile device that can keep you abreast of the latest storm updates.
- Talk to your insurer about other steps you can take and ensure your policy is up to date.
Preparation is the best way both you and your family can weather the storm and mitigate damage. Be sure to touch base with us at PayneWest Insurance if you have any questions about your policy or need more information on what you can do in the aftermath should you experience severe flooding.
In the event that you need to file a claim, you can expedite the process by contacting your carrier directly.