Floods are sudden and powerful. They can happen within minutes or even hours of a heavy rainfall, a broken dam, a flooded drainage system, or a sudden rush of water from an ice jam. That’s why you need to know the basics of flood safety and get prepared.
How to Prepare for a Flood
Find a flood hazard map and determine your home’s risk. The best way to prevent flooding is to avoid building or purchasing a house in a flood plain. However, if you must build on one, elevate and reinforce the structure.
Also, remember that just because your home has never flooded before doesn’t mean it won’t happen in the future. Many variables contribute to flood risk, including rainfall, topography, flood-control measures, and new construction and development. So, you need to be familiar with flood safety guidelines no matter where you live.
Once you determine your risk, you can find out what kind of flood insurance you need to purchase since it’s not included in standard home insurance policies. Note that the lower risk your home carries for flooding, the lower your flood insurance premium will be.
After you’ve secured an insurance policy, there are a few more flood safety tasks to complete.
- Elevate appliances such as your furnace, electric panel, and water heater to keep them out of potential floodwaters.
- Install check valves in your pipelines to avoid backflow.
- If possible, construct waterproof barriers that will keep floodwaters at bay.
- Create an emergency kit and family communication plan to help your household navigate the disaster.
And, if weather forecasters warn of a possible flood in your area, you should:
- Pay close attention to weather reports.
- Move to higher ground if possible.
- Watch out for streams, drainage channels, canyons, or other areas where floods occur without warning.
How to Respond During a Flood
If evacuation becomes necessary, secure your home as best you can and bring all outdoor furniture and belongings inside if you have time. Also, shut off the gas and electricity, but only if you can do so without risking harm.
After leaving your home, remember to avoid moving water and use a stick to check the firmness of the ground as you go.
Also, never try to drive through flooded areas because the water can quickly sweep you and your vehicle away. However, if you find yourself surrounded by the flood, get out and find higher ground.
Finally, never park or camp beside streams, rivers, or creeks during volatile conditions. These bodies of water can rise quickly and take you with them.
If you need further flood safety or risk management advice, contact an MTG Insurance agent. Our office is committed to helping your family stay safe when disaster strikes.