7 steps for preparing for a flood

Most people aren't prepared for a flood situation. Make sure that doesn't apply to you. Here are suggestions to be prepared.

7 steps for preparing for a flood

1. Get insured

  • If you want to avoid catastrophic costs due to floods, the number one rule is to have proper insurance. Most homeowners' basic insurance policies don't cover losses due to floods, unless you have purchased extra coverage.
  • If your house is in an area prone to flooding, you should consider buying additional flood insurance (even if you're not in a likely area, you might want to consider purchasing it anyway).
  • Financial assistance could be available from your municipality should catastrophic flooding occur in your area.

2. Consider elevating your home

  • This is an extreme solution, but it's one that might make sense if you live in a flood-prone area. Yes, it's a costly procedure, but it may save you in reconstruction or repairs if floodwaters enter your house. Just an inch or two of water in your home can do thousands of dollars worth of damage.

3. Be prepared to evacuate

  • If there's danger of a flood, tune in to a local radio or television station to keep track of what's happening.
  • If you're advised to evacuate, do so — but first turn off the gas, electricity and water.
  • Lock up the house and leave quickly.

4. Document contents of your home

  • Make a detailed list of your home's contents, and take photos of everything.
  • If a flood causes damage and you want to make an insurance claim or claim a tax deduction, you'll need to prove what exactly was inside.

5. Well position your electrical control panel

  • In case of a flood, you'll need to be able to reach your electrical control panel safely, without stepping in water.
  • That's why it's important to situate this panel carefully. Basements are not the ideal places for your control panel, because they are the usually first places to flood.
  • If your control panel isn't well positioned, have an electrician move it to a safer place.

6. Have emergency supplies ready

  • Store emergency essentials in a duffel bag or another portable pack on a high shelf on an upper floor. If you're forced out of your house by floodwaters, you'll have everything you need to survive for a few days.

7. Preparation for a flood warning

  • If you know in advance that your area will flood, prop up any appliances that are in the basement or on the first floor.
  • Place bricks, concrete blocks or layers of boards under the corners of the appliances, or, if possible, move them to a higher floor.
  • Unplug everything that isn't essential, at least until the storm passes.
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