There’s no such thing as a good disaster, but at least most floods give you a little warning. Floods are unpredictable. FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program saw an estimated $9.5 billion in flood losses in 2017, but the true losses are probably much higher.
Regardless of the projections, the flood might arrive at your front door either sooner or later than anticipated. Plan on “sooner” and take advantage of every possible minute to prepare for your home flooding, especially if you and your family will have to evacuate. Keeping everyone safe is always the top priority.
Prioritize Your Preparation – Family First
Whether you plan on evacuating or not, ensure all your important items (insurance policies, birth certificates, deeds, health records, family photos, medications etc.) are safely protected in waterproof bags or containers. If you don’t have a household inventory, take detailed pictures of every room, including open drawers and cabinets. Upload the photos to cloud storage or attach them to emails sent to yourself or a friend.
In the event of a sudden evacuation, have water, food (including pet food), clothing, jewelry, phone chargers and other important personal belongings packed and ready to go. Know your evacuation route and make sure everyone knows your contact plan in case you’re separated. Make sure your car has a full gas tank and runs well.
In the event you can’t evacuate, and the flood rises higher than expected, you might have to retreat into the attic. Don’t let yourself be trapped. Bring a sledgehammer or other tool that would let you break through and get onto the roof.
Prepare Your Home for the Flood
Install sump pumps that can run either connected to your home power supply/generator or on batteries.
Plug any drains in your basement floor. This prevents sewage backup. It will also help prevent water being removed so rapidly that the basement walls or floor are damaged from greater external water pressure. As unpleasant as the thought is, letting floodwater fill the basement could prevent structural damage to the floor and walls. Before the flood, consider getting advice from a county or city engineer.
Basement windows will break from water pressure. If home flooding is expected shortly, open or remove the windows.
Turn Off Utilities
Expect local authorities to recommend shutting off gas, electricity and water. Be sure you aren’t standing in water when shutting off electric power. If you expect floodwater to approach the electrical entrance panel, call your electric company to disconnect the home’s electricity.
Move Belongings Higher
Prepare for home flooding by moving furniture and other belongings at least 12″ higher than the expected flood level. Bring outdoor furniture in if possible.
Secure Fuel Tanks
An unsecured fuel tank is potentially very dangerous. During home flooding, the tank could tip over or float, spilling fuel that could possibly ignite. Spilled fuel is very expensive and extremely difficult, perhaps impossible, to remove from a flooded house. Anchor fuel tanks securely to floor, ensuring all vents and fill line openings are either higher than the expected flood level or sealed.
All your expensive appliances, such as the fridge, freezer, washer, dryer and others have electric motors and other components vulnerable to floodwater damage. Shut them off at the breaker panel or fuse box. If they can’t be moved higher, wrap them in large pieces of plastic, tying tightly in place. This won’t keep water out but will keep most of the silt out. Cleanup will be easier.
Shut off power and move furnace higher if possible.
Unless your air conditioner tech advises otherwise, leave the unit in place. Freon in the unit could create a health hazard if moved inside unless moved by an a/c technician. Wrapping both inside and outside components in plastic will help reduce silt accumulation.
Shut off gas, electricity and water before moving water heater to a spot where it will be above the home flooding.
Porous Materials vs. Solid Wood and Stone
Pressed wood, carpets and drywall will all absorb water, may well be irreparably damaged and will be harder to remove when waterlogged. Solid wood and stone can tolerate a certain degree of home flooding.
Neptune Flood uses the same space age technology as NASA and the U.S. government to generate today’s most accurate digital land surveys. These super-accurate flood zone maps, combined with advanced technology, could save you money, up to 25%, on flood insurance. Not only that, Neptune’s technology means you can buy flood insurance in 3 minutes or less.
Don’t wait too long to protect your home with flood insurance. Most insurers require a 30-day waiting period for your new flood insurance. Neptune Flood offers a reduced 10 day waiting period, a definite advantage if you’re nervously watching the weather reports. Neptune Flood also offers higher limits of coverage.
Learn more about flood insurance and get a quote from Neptune Flood today.