Flood Damage: Preparing for the Upcoming Storm Season
Preparing for the Upcoming Storm Season
Water Damage to your property can be caused several different ways, but one of the most common causes are floods. With the upcoming storm season it is very important to start preparing your property from potential floods. Floods are one of the most common hazards and are particularly prevalent in North Texas.
In North Texas, the way in which our storm drain systems have been built also increase the likely hood of flooding due to the overwhelming amount of water that has no place to go.Be especially aware of potential flooding no matter where you live, but particularly if you live near a lake, river, creek, or just in a low lying area.
Before a Flood
Prepare for a flood:
- Be sure to keep the furnace, water heater, and electric panel elevated if your property is susceptible to flooding.
- To prevent water from backing up into the drains of your home install "check valves" in sewer traps.
- You can use sandbags to construct barriers to stop floodwater from entering the building.
- Seal walls with things like heavy clay and tarps that will help prevent erosion and seepage.
During a Flood
There are flood warnings in your area:
- Turn on a local news station on the television for information, or use your smartphone to get weather alerts if the electricity is out.
- Floods can occur on a moments notice. If there is any possibility of a flash flood, do not hesitate! Move immediately to higher ground, depending upon severity that may require climbing to the roof.
When preparing to evacuate:
- The first priority is to secure your home, locking all doors and windows. If you have time, bring in outdoor furniture so that there will be less debris to damage your home. Move as much furniture and valuable items to a second floor.
- Turn off all utilities at the main switches located in your homes electrical box and disconnect all electrical appliances just to be safe. If these items are already wet or if you are standing in water Do Not Touch any electrical equipment or appliances that could possibly have an electric current.
After a Flood Occurs
A flood has occurred and damaged your property:
- The first 24 hours are the most important – Act Fast!
- There are many restoration companies that are experts in water removal, structure drying, sanitization, and mold prevention that can properly restore your property to pre-loss condition. It is highly recommended that you do not try to do everything yourself.
- Make sure to ask if the restoration company is IICRC certified, to ensure that they are industry qualified to perform restoration services on your property.
- While you wait for the restoration company to arrive, if you want to be proactive; try to move contents out of affected areas and block up furniture using pieces of Styrofoam, plastic bags or even tinfoil.
- This will help prevent color transfer and rust stains between the furniture and carpet.
- This will also help mitigate further water damage to furniture.
- Once a majority of the water has been removed by a professional restoration company leave doors and windows open to decrease moisture and use fans to help continue the dry-out process and to prevent mold.
- If there is potential that you are in a contaminated area with black water (Category 3) or sewage, wear appropriate protective clothing and a respirator for protection. Wash all clothing and body parts that may have come in contact with contaminants.
Consider the following:
- Most property owners are not aware that your homeowners' insurance policy does not cover flood losses.
- You can contact any local insurance agency to find out the availability of flood insurance in your community.
- There is usually a 30-day waiting period before flood insurance goes into effect, so don't wait.