Flood Prevention and Safety

Where it rains, it can flood. Even if you live in an area that you think isn’t at risk, preparation is still critical, just as with other potential emergencies, in case nature decides to prove you wrong.

Before we get into how you can prevent, limit, or react to flooding, it’s important to note that flood damage is usually not covered by your homeowners or renters insurance. However, there are specialized flood insurance programs that we at the Warwick Agency can discuss with you. Connecticut residents can contact us at (203) 775-2564 or Charlie@WarwickAgency.com for more information.

Preparing for a flood

The Federal Emergency Management Agency recommends a number of steps to stay safe during emergencies and also limit damage from flooding. You should:

  1. Build an emergency kit for your family containing things like a two-week supply of drinking water and nonperishable foods, flashlights, a radio, extra batteries, a first-aid kit, necessary medications, personal hygiene items, and copies of important documents.Flood Prevention
  1. Create a communication plan so family members can reach one another. Keep it posted somewhere in your home and review it on a regular basis to make sure that everybody will remember should an emergency strike. This should include a designated meeting area in case things like cell phones aren’t working. (During prolonged power outages, handheld radios can be a good way to communicate if you need to split up.)
  1. If you live in an area with a high risk of flooding, be sure to elevate the furnace, water heater, and electric panel in your home. This will decrease the likelihood of water reaching them and causing further damage.
  1. Consider installing “check valves” to prevent floodwater from backing up into the drains of your home.
  1. If possible, construct barriers to stop floodwater from entering your home and seal basement walls with waterproofing compounds.

Acting during a flood

If a flood is likely in your area, quick action may be necessary to protect your family and property. You should:

Get information from the radio or television.

Move immediately to higher ground if there is any possibility of a flash flood. Don’t wait for instructions to move because every second counts.

If you need to evacuate, you should move essential items to an upper floor and try to secure your home. Turn off utilities (if instructed to do so), and disconnect electrical appliances. However, do not touch electrical equipment if they are wet or standing in water because there’s a very strong electrocution risk.

Do not walk through moving water since it’s easy to lose your balance and fall. Use a stick to check the firmness of the ground in front of you.

Do not drive into flooded areas. If your vehicle gets stuck in floodwater, abandon your car and move to higher ground if you’re able to do so safely.

If you have evacuated your home, do not return until authorities tell you it’s safe.

Coping after a flood

Flooding can cause emotional stress along with physical hazards, so be mindful of the well-being of you and your family during the aftermath.

Additionally, floodwater can be contaminated by oil, gasoline, or sewage, so avoid contact as much as possible. It’s absolutely not safe to drink floodwater, which is why you’re encouraged to stock up on bottled water. Likewise, make sure that your city’s water supply is safe to drink and keep in mind that floodwater could get into your well.

Finally, clean and disinfect everything that was in contact with floodwater. You don’t know what kinds of bacteria that floodwater may have been carrying.

The Red Cross has a free book available, Repairing Your Flooded Home, which contains useful information when it comes to cleaning up. It’s available at www.redcross.org. Of course, don’t hesitate to contact us as well, we’re ready to help!

If you have flood insurance, contact the claims center of your provider as soon as possible. And remember: flooding is one of the most common hazards in the U.S. Being prepared for any emergency is crucial for the safety of you and your family. Don’t be caught off guard!

If you live around the Brookfield, CT area and want to learn more about flood insurance, be sure to give us a call today at (203) 775-2564 because who knows what can happen tomorrow!

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