Every year, severe flooding ravages many states in the U.S. due, in part, to natural phenomena like melted snow or man-made factors like clogged rivers. As seen in the news, some floods could even cost many lives and irreparable public and private property. Often, though, these could be prevented, at least on a household level, by knowing how to prepare before the flood season:
Up to a practical extent, move furniture to a higher level in your house. In the event of a sudden rise in floodwater levels and you haven’t move your furniture, it is best to leave them be. Instead, prioritize your evacuation from the house.
Early on, sort out papers you are keeping in your house. Separate those that contain confidential information and those that pertain to your estate. Place them in a resealable container that is not permeable to water and place them in an area in your house where flood has a lesser chance to enter.
Engineers know that building in a flood-prone area, it is practical to install electric components at least a foot above the predicted footage of floodwater. If this isn’t yet the case in your house, you can hire a certified electrician to retrofit outlets, wiring, switches, and circuit breakers.
If the need to evacuate arises, make sure that no appliance is left unplugged from the outlets and that switches in the main circuit breaker are turned off before leaving the house. Service providers may cut off the electric connection during a flood for safety purposes and put it back once flooding subsides. Turning all sources off at least until the flood subsides will help you keep everyone safe from electrocution.
Sewer and Other Pipework
You would want to avoid sewage backflow during the flood season as it is a headache to clean after. Aside from turning off the main water line, you could also install backflow plugs on your drains as a preventive measure. If water manages to seep through your water pipes, call an emergency plumber to install other backflow preventers such as valves.
As much as possible, all household members should know where the main switches of electricity, gas, and water lines are located. When disaster strikes, whoever is closest to either of the switches can turn it off without being instructed. Still, everyone should be given their designated roles in preparing the house before evacuation so everyone can move systematically without panicking.
For an expected flood, turn off the main gas line. If you keep a fuel tank in your basement, reinforcing them with heavy-duty anchors would keep them from getting dislodged in case strong water currents rush into the basement. To further prevent damage within and outside your house, the tank’s openings must be sealed shut with the help of strong latches. That way, there are minimal chances of leaks that could contaminate water or cause a fire.
Your basement is the most susceptible to flooding. If you store important objects like equipment, furniture, and tools there, that is because you have no other place to put them, you would want to keep chances of water entry to the minimum by waterproofing the area. The costs attributed to the work are a big-ticket investment that may leave a dent in your savings but will eventually be worth it.
Although flood commonly comes from rainwater from outside that flows into the house, remember that leaks from your ceiling could accumulate and contribute to more flooding. That said, you should regularly check your roof tiles or metal sheets, flashing, shingles, and valleys for any damage and apply the appropriate sealant. To go more in-depth, inspect your attic and vents for mold buildup and a musty smell because, if any, chances are there are gaping holes on your roof. Likewise, your gutter could be clogged with dry leaves and other debris, which you immediately have to unload to allow water to flow away from your roof.
Strong winds tend to hit during typhoons which could dishevel the arrangement in your patio and yard and, worse, damage the objects you put there. That said, you should secure your outdoor furniture and fixtures with durable ropes onto your patio railings. As much as possible, store light items like decor and gardening tools indoors or in your garage.
In natural occurrences like flood-causing typhoons, it’s indeed better to be safe than sorry. If your area is historically known to be flood-prone, it is just right to be extra prepared. Otherwise, your property will only suffer more damage and could harm your family.