If you live in an area that floods regularly you need to be ready to deal with flooding. While this may seem straightforward, many homeowners try to ignore the problem and simply hope that this eventuality never occurs while they are living there. Choosing to be prepared is the only way you can ensure that your family and your items will weather the storm as safely as possible.
Inventory for Insurance
If the flood gets bad enough, there will only be so much you can do to protect your possessions. While you shouldn't give up on taking steps to protect your home, it is going to be vitally important to have everything you own documented for insurance purposes. Fortunately, modern technology has made this easier than ever. Rather than having to take pictures, print them and then hope they don't get destroyed in the flood, you can store everything digitally.
Invest in a couple flash drives and create copies of digital pictures of each item, serial numbers and even scanned receipts. You should keep one in your home for easy access, but the second should be stored at a secondary location. A safe deposit box is a good choice, but a trusted friend or family member will do as well. You may also wish to speak with your insurance agent. The insurance company may also be willing to keep a copy of your documentation which will expedite processing of your claim if an event does occur.
Minimize Damage to Items in Your Basement
There are certain steps you can take to keep minor flooding from being an issue.
- Get as much as possible up off the floor. With the help of a technician, your furnace and water heater can get raised up on blocks. Wood furniture should be kept out of the basement completely, as should an paper documents you would like to keep.
- Invest in basement waterproofing. Sealing walls, adding a sump pump and adding drain tile won't prevent major floods, but they can handle quite a bit of water without any intervention from you.
- Make sure your home's exterior is in good repair. Downspouts in particular are critical to your home as they help to carry water away from the foundation. Add lines that carry the water outside the drain tile for maximum effect.
Create an Emergency Plan
Regardless of the condition of your home after a flood, you need to be able to keep you and your family safe during an event. Just as with any disaster, you can't guarantee that basic services such as water and electricity will be available to you, so you need to keep at least a week's worth of non-perishable food and bottled water on hand at all times. You may also want to talk to friends and relatives that live outside the local area to see if anyone would be willing to take your family in in the case of a major event. While it may not be a good long term living situation, having somewhere to go to escape the immediate threat is an important resource.
Even in the case of a smaller flood, you will have to make several phone calls right away. You should make a list and either keep it somewhere safe, or simply create a set of contacts in your phone. This includes your insurance agent, emergency services, utility companies, and a flood damage restoration service.
Floods are unpredictable, so it is difficult to prep for a specific level of flooding. However, what you can do is create guidelines and procedures to follow when a storm hits that will cover as many possibilities as you can. Once you have gotten into this habit, you will start seeing patterns of how you can make overall adjustments in your life to minimize the impact of flooding on your life. If you need emergency water removal assistance, however, don't hesitate to reach out to a local company like Firewater Restoration Services.