Saturday's blog post combined with the nasty storm named "Earl" resulted in a number of calls regarding the specific preventative measures one can take to prevent and/or limit flood damage. We'll repeat again the importance to have your foundation inspected to give you the confidence that the #1 item of importance is structurally sound. But to add to Saturday's blog, here are some important considerations and steps to take as it relates to flooding:
- Understand the damage that surrounding objects on your property can do to your house in a flood...trees, toys, and fast moving debris slides. Proactively secure what you can.
- Ask your local planning and zoning office whether your property is above or below the flood level, and find out whether your area has a history of flooding.
- Become familiar with the warning communication system within your community....this will give you precious time to take preventative action.
- Learn what the community's evacuation plan is so you can be prepared.
- Make sure you have flood insurance, since most home owners' insurance will not reimburse you for flood damage.
- Keep important documents - including insurance policies, birth certificates and passports - in a waterproof box where you can easily access them.
- If your furnace, water heater or electricity panel is on the first floor of your home, consider having it moved to the attic, where it is less likely to be damaged by floodwater.
- Plug sewer traps with check valves, which prevent floodwater from backing up into the drains of your home. In an emergency, you can also use large corks or stoppers to plug sinks and tubs.
- Check your local building codes to find out whether they will permit you to build flood walls or other barriers around your home to prevent water from entering the building.
- Protect basement walls by sealing them with waterproofing compounds so water can't come in through cracks.
- Keep a battery-operated radio in your home in case your power goes out.
- Talk to your family ahead of time to decide where you will go if a flood occurs, so everyone will know what to do.
- Prepare some emergency supplies, such as canned food, a hand-held can opener, a flashlight, batteries and first aid materials.
Much of this comes down to common sense, situational awareness, and proactive measures to prevent/limit flood damage and the effects on your life. Our inspectors consider and document against all threats to your property. It's the subtle things that you may not see that can make a huge difference in how your home weathers the next storm. And please keep contacting us....we're here for you.