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Are You Prepared for a Flood?
More than a hundred people are killed by floods every year. According to the Red Cross, floods have caused more than four billion dollars in damages in the United States. In the case of a flood in your town, here are a few tips to prepare yourself and your family:
Get flood insurance
First and foremost, this is the most important safety precaution for your family. Homeowners insurance will not cover loss due to floods. In the case of a flood, it is essential that you have specifically flood insurance.
Find your local zoning office
Do you know if you live in a flood zone? This will determine your flood insurance premium and rates. It is vital that you ask your local planning and zoning office whether the property you own is above or below the level of the flood. Also, check to see if your area has had a history of flooding. However, remember that floods still happen in areas that are not deemed as a flood zone. Just because something has not flooded in the past, does not guarantee it will not ever flood.
Research Evacuation Routes
Know your area’s plan for evacuation. Being prepared ahead of time will make the time of a disaster easier to navigate. If your area does not have an evacuation plan, map out the best way to go in case of a flood disaster. Also, research warning signals or signs to know whenever a flood may occur.
Consider how the area might be affected
While you are planning your evacuation route, be sure to consider how the area might be affected in the event of a flood. Collapsed bridges, falling trees, down power lines and wet roads can make travel hazardous. Be prepared for, and aware of, all other effects of a flood aside from the actual flood waters. Sometimes these obstacles can be just as dangerous as the flood themselves.
Keep all important documents in waterproof place
Passports, insurance policies, birth certificates, etc. should be kept in a waterproof box that could be accessed easily and protected if it does get wet. These boxes or safes are easy to find and can be obtained for a reasonable price.
Have a radio and supplies on hand
Keep a battery operated radio, and spare batteries, in case the power goes off. It is also essential to have supplies like a first aid kit and canned goods, along with a manual can opener handy. These simple provisions are important for a short term emergency.
Prepare your home
Plugging sewers, pipes and drains in your home using check valves prevents any floodwater from getting in and coming up your drains. In extreme emergencies, use large stoppers to plug bathtubs, shower drains and sinks. Also, if you have a basement, it is a smart idea to seal the walls using waterproof compounds so that floodwaters would be unable to get in through any cracks. Even if a flood does not reach your house, it is more likely your basement will be flooded. You may be interested in building walls to be used as barriers around your house in order to prevent any floodwater from getting in your premises. Before you do this, be sure to check with your local codes of buildings to find out whether it is within regulation to build. Lastly, if you have a fireplace, furnace, electricity panel or water heater in the basement or first floor of your home, you might consider moving it to the second floor or to the attic. If it is higher, it is less likely to obtain water damage.
If you have not thought about these tips, take some time and go through them with your family. Preparation is the only defense against floods. Make sure you are and your family are prepared.
If you have any questions about being prepared for a flood or obtaining flood insurance, contact Direct Flood Insurance Agency LLC. Direct Flood Insurance Agency provides flood insurance for Louisiana, Georgia, Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Texas, Missouri, Illinois, Iowa, Tennessee, Kentucky, New Jersey and New York.