What To Do Before and After Flooding

Do you live in a floodplain? By which we mean, do you live on an area of land that is susceptible to flooding, perhaps because of heavy rainfall, burst riverbanks, or living near the ocean? If so, you will understand how dangerous this can be. Not only are the lives of you and your loved ones at risk, but your property will be in peril too!

Don’t take the risk of a flood lightly if you live in an area where flooding is possible. And don’t assume that your homeowner’s policy will cover your home if flooding occurs. While it will protect your home from theft, fires, and certain forms of property damage, it won’t cover you if a flood occurs. For this, you need additional flood insurance.

Getting insured is just one thing you can do before flooding occurs. However, there are other ways to prepare, as we will discuss below. There are also things you need to do after flooding has taken place, which we will also discuss here.

Before Flooding

Maybe your home isn’t in a floodplain at all. In such an instance, you need to ask yourself: Should I purchase flood insurance?

Even if you’re not on a floodplain, you might still consider the option. A poor drainage system, a broken water main, and a sudden change in weather can all cause flooding, so it’s still advisable to consider it.

But as we mentioned, getting flood insurance is just the start, especially if you know flooding is likely. You can find out the likelihood of your home by checking the FEMA Flood Map Service Center, as this will let you know the flood risk in your area.

If you know you are at risk, do what you can to protect your home. You can floodproof it by applying water-resistant coatings and sealants to the outside of your property, and you can stock up on sandbags in readiness too.

It’s also a good idea to install air brick covers to prevent water access through the vents on your exterior walls. Depending on the gradient of your land, you might also want to install a flood defense gate at the bottom of your driveway.

We also recommend renovations inside of your home for the following. To prevent electrical damage, ask an electrician to move your electrical sockets up by 2-3 feet. Raising your storage options is also a good idea, as you will need to protect your valuable items from water damage. The same applies to your appliances, as you want to keep them as far away from the floor as possible.

With the aid of a local tradesperson, you could arrange for them to install a kitchen plinth to lift your dishwasher, fridge freezer, and other appliances from the floor.

There are other things you can to do to prepare your home for flooding, so talk to local tradespeople in your area for advice.

Is there anything else you can do before a flood? Of course! You should learn and practice your evacuation routes with your family and give your family instructions on what they need to do to stay safe.

You should also gather items needed for a flood survival kit as you will need these should you become displaced from your home.

When Flooding Starts

If you suspect your home is at risk when news of flooding starts, it’s time to take action. Barricade your home with sandbags, move rugs, furniture, and valuable items to a higher place in your property, and shut off your electricity. If it isn’t raining, open your windows to allow airflow through your home.

If you have a sump pump, turn this on, as it will work to water that comes into your house. And if there is water coming in, photograph the damage that is taking place as this will help defend your claim when you speak to your insurance provider.

In many circumstances, it may be necessary to evacuate your home, so make sure you have your survival kit handy. It’s likely that places of shelter will have been set up, so listen to your local news station for advice on where you need to go to.

Alternatively, make arrangements to stay with friends or family members that are in areas that are out of danger. If you travel, adhere to the safety tips that we connected you to earlier.

After Flooding

If your local area is flooded, avoid driving, especially through areas of high flood water. You should also rely on information provided by your local government if you have found shelter elsewhere. They may advise you to wait before traveling, so heed any advice given for the safety of you and your family.

When you enter your home, be extra cautious. There may be areas of hidden damage, so be on the lookout for these. Clean and disinfect what you can, being sure to protect yourself with rubber gloves, rubber boots, and perhaps even a face mask if the air is damp and foul.

For anything that can’t be cleaned and disinfected, throw them out. This includes items that have absorbed water, as well as foods, beverages, and medications that may have come into contact with floodwater.

If the job is too big for you to handle, call a flood repair service. They will advise you on what you can and can’t keep and will handle the restoration of your property for you.

Provided you have flood insurance in place, you will be able to claim for damages and losses caused by the flood. Check your policy to find out what you can and cannot claim and then get in touch with your insurance provider. The sooner you do, the sooner you can salvage your finances if your claim has been successful.

For more advice, check local government guidelines for your area, as the more knowledgeable you are, the safer you, your family, and your home will be.