Be Prepared For Flood Emergencies In Your Home

Flooding presents the most frequent as well as costliest damage to homes in the U.S. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, no home can be considered totally immune to flood risk from some source—indoor or outdoor. So, every home can benefit from advance preparation. Even one inch of water inside a residence can cause significant damage. Because flooding often occurs without advance warning, the time to get ready for flood emergencies is now.

  • Check the flow of water outside during average rainfall. Does water flow toward the exterior wall and foundation of the house instead of away? In flood conditions, this can provide an entry point into the house. The landscape around the perimeter of the house should be graded so water drains away from the house and standing water does not accumulate, even in heavy rain. Also, maintain gutters and downspouts to ensure that roof runoff is properly collected and diverted at least three feet away from the house.
  • Do you live in an area with a naturally high water table? Rising groundwater may surge upward into the basement or crawl space during heavy rain or outdoor flooding. A sump pump with battery backup feature should be installed in the lowest point of the basement floor or inside the crawl space to automatically actuate and pump out intruding water.
  • Install a sewer backflow valve. If the municipal sewer system is swamped by floodwater, sewage may back up and enter the house through drains and toilets. Raw sewage is extremely toxic and requires extensive remediation to make the house safe to occupy. A backup valve installed in your sewage line prevents raw sewage from flowing backwards into the house.
  • Know how to turn off electricity safely. Indoor flooding can cause electrocution hazards. Know the location of your home’s main electrical panel and how to quickly shut off electricity before floodwater threatens. If the area near the electrical panel is already flooded or even wet, stay away. Call an electrician to shut off electricity at the meter.

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