With all of the severe weather the country has been experiencing this year, it probably isn't a bad idea to take a moment and consider the appropriate steps to take in advance of less than desirable conditions, steps that can go a long way towards protecting your property and your family. In this entry we will look at flood preparation.
Firstly, you should be aware of the various terms used to describe flooding conditions:
- Flood Watch – this means that a flood is possible, that conditions are right for flooding to occur. You should stay tuned to your local radio or TV station for additional updates.
- Flash Flood Watch – Flash flooding is possible. Because flash floods form so rapidly, it is advisable to go ahead and move to higher ground.
- Flood Warning – flooding is either occurring or will occur soon. Promptly heed any evacuation orders.
- Flash Flood Warning - a flash flood is occurring and you should seek higher ground immediately.
- Urban & Small Stream Advisory – flooding of small streams, streets, and low lying areas is occurring.
You should be aware of any types of storm or flood warnings that are used by your community. These may vary from region to region, so keep yourself up to date.
Be prepared to shut off all utilities at their source. This means electricity and gas, so familiarize yourself with where the various shutoff valves are.
Have backflow valves installed on all sewer traps to prevent water from backing up through drains. You can also use corks or stoppers to prevent backflow.
Look into purchasing flood insurance. Find out if your community participates in the Nation Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and get signed up. Of course it will cost an additional premium, but it will more than pay for itself if you get totaled by a flood.
In a related vein, properly record and document all of your possessions for reference with insurance adjusters later on.
If you are ordered to evacuate, do so promptly. Far too many people wait until late in the game to get out of Dodge, and the bulk of flooding related deaths are credited to folks who become trapped in their cars while trying to cross flooded roadways. You should be familiar with the evacuation routes serving your area.
Have a "go bag" prepared for each family member, well stocked with enough provisions to sustain a stay of several days in a shelter or motel. Each bag should be packed with clothes, food items, bottled water, cash, first aid, and any important documents or ID.
Monitor radio and television broadcasts to stay on top of rapidly changing weather conditions. You'd be surprised at just how fast the game can change when it comes to severe weather.
Tomorrow we will look at what you can do after the flood. In the meantime, call Water Damage Local.com for prompt, courteous, and efficient service for any and all water or flood damage problems. Our network of providers are available 24/7, with trained staff and the latest in equipment and procedures. All providers are IICRC certified and can have a technician to your home or business within an hour of your call.