Water, Water, Everywhere – Part 1
Post by: Chris Hall
You may not know that Flooding is second only to household fires as the leading cause of personal and property loss in the United States. Like household fires, flooding may come upon suddenly and with little warning.
Preparation is key to turning a natural disaster into a personal catastrophe.
What you may NOT know is the different types of flood risk you may face in your area.
Typical flood risks include:
- Snow Melt
- Flash Flooding
- Dams/Levee failure
- Tropical Storm/Hurricane
Watch, Warning, what does all this stuff mean??
- Flood Watch: Flooding is possible. Tune in to NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio, television, and Social Media for information
- Flash Flood Watch: Flash flooding is possible. Be prepared to move to higher ground; Tune in to NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio, television, and Social Media for information
- Flood Warning: Flooding is occurring or will occur soon; if advised to evacuate, do so immediately.
- Flash Flood Warning: A flash flood is occurring; seek higher ground on foot immediately.
What to do BEFORE a Flood
Purchase a flood insurance policy if you don’t already have one, or review your current insurance policy to ensure your home and contents are adequately covered. Visit FloodSmart.gov to learn more about individual flood risk, explore coverage options and to find an agent in your area. Some home mortgages require flood insurance.
What to do BEFORE, DURING and AFTER a flood or threat of flood.
These standard tips also help you 2BeeReady for other types of natural and man-made disasters.
1. Gather critical documents and keep them in a secure place, such as a safe deposit box outside of your city, or a waterproof container at home. This file should have:
- A copy of your insurance policies with your agents contact information.
- A Household inventory: Be sure to keep a written and visual (i.e., videotaped or photographed) record of all major household items and valuables, even those stored in basements, attics or garages. Create files that include serial numbers and store receipts for major appliances and electronics. Have valuable jewelry and artwork appraised. These documents are critically important when filing insurance claims.
- Copies of all other critical documents, including finance records or receipts of major purchases, Driver’s license, Social Security card, alien registration card, Utility Bills, proof of residence, insurance policies, wills, deeds, birth and marriage certificates, tax records, etc.
- A great way to keep these files handy is to scan them on a flatbed scanner, and store them on a USB flash drive or Secure Digital Card. Encryption with a free program such as TruCrypt will help ensure their security.
2. Prepare your house
- If time and physical condition permits, construct barriers using plastic sheeting and sandbags to stop floodwater from entering the building and seal walls in basements with waterproofing compounds.
- Consider installing “check valves” to prevent flood water from backing up into the drains of your home.
- Raise your electrical system components (switches, sockets, circuit breakers, and wiring) at least 12 inches above your home’s projected flood elevation.
- Place the furnace, water heater, washer, and dryer on cement blocks at least 12 inches above the projected flood elevation.
- Move furniture, valuables, and important documents to a safe place. Preferably to a 2nd floor if you have one.
3. Develop a family emergency plan
- Create a safety kit (an article on economically building your safety kit will be available on 2BeeReady soon) with drinking water, canned food, first aid supplies, prescription medications and medical supplies, bedding and clothing; including sleeping bags and pillows, a radio, and a flashlight.
- Post emergency telephone numbers by the phone and teach your children how to dial 911. Make sure all family members have the ICE and out-of-area contact number in their mobile phones.
- Plan and practice a flood evacuation route with your family. Know safe routes from home, work, and school that lead to higher ground.
- Practice and document the 2BeeReady Concentric Rings of Evacuation. Have a place to evacuate to 1) In your neighborhood; 2) In your City 3) Outside your City or Region. Document these places, and make sure all family members, as well as care-givers are aware of these locations.
- Ask an out-of-state relative or friend to be your emergency family contact.
- Have a plan to protect your pets
Next week’s post will cover what to do during a flood. Get started preparing today for the upcoming flood season that’s upon us.
Important Flood-related links:
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