Flooding is a serious danger that can affect your home and belongings, posing a serious health and safety risk. It’s important to be aware of the effects flooding can have and take measures to protect yourself and your property.
While it’s not possible to completely protect your home from flooding, there are a number of measures you can take to help minimize flood damage. Here are just a few of them. If you’re in danger of flooding, ensure to get the right help. You can get in touch with your local Red Cross here.
Be Aware of Floods
Know your flood risk. Listen to local news or weather reports for information about flood warnings in your area. Check if you’re in an area that’s prone to flooding. You may be able to sign up for free flood warnings.
Additionally, be aware that flooding can occur suddenly and without warning. It can also happen slowly, over time, as water seeps into your home through cracks. Ensure to research the possible consequences that flooding could have.
Make an Emergency Plan
Prepare an emergency plan that includes things like evacuation routes and where to meet up with family members. Make sure everyone in your family also knows what to do in case a flood happens. You should write down your plan and keep it in a safe place. Write down:
- A list of emergency contacts, like your local police or fire department.
- The phone numbers for your utility companies, in case you need to turn off gas or electricity.
- How you’d move your loved ones and your possessions in the event of a flood.
- How you’d care for your pets in the event of a flood.
- A list of items you would need if you had to evacuate your home, like clothes and medications.
- A list of important documents, like insurance policies and identification papers.
- A list of items you would need if you had to shelter in place, like food and water.
- How you’d move your loved ones and your possessions if you had to evacuate.
- What would you do if your home flooded when you were not there; would everyone be safe, including any dependents or pets?
Before we get to security investments, here are a few actions you can take to help to protect your home from the consequences of flooding:
- Securing outdoor fuel tanks in place: these can pose a serious danger in heavy weather conditions.
- Cleaning the gutters: this will help to prevent water from leaking into your home.
- Utilization of available storage space: in buildings that are prone to be flooded, storing valuable items upstairs or in the attic could be advisable so that they’re protected from water.
- Pointing your downspouts away from your home: this will prevent water from leaking into the building.
- A suitable insurance if your home isn’t insured already and you’d like to take the extra step to financially protect your home: if you’re not sure where to start, you can find out more information in this guide for buying insurance.
You can invest in security measures that will help to protect your home from flooding. These measures can help to reduce the amount of damage that flooding can cause.
Inside Your Home
- Air brick covers: these can help to prevent water from entering your home through air bricks.
- Flood gates or barriers: these can help to prevent water from entering your home through doors and windows.
- Sandbags: sandbags can help to block water from entering your home.
- A sump pump: this can help to remove water that has entered your home.
- A generator: this can provide power for your home if the electricity goes out.
- A portable phone charger that doesn’t need electricity: useful to charge your phone if the power goes out.
- An emergency kit: with items like a flashlight, batteries, first aid supplies, and medication.
- Waterproofing coatings: you can put this on walls, windows, doorways, foundations, or any other areas where water might enter your home. It can prevent it from coming through cracks and small holes.
- Raising your electrical sockets, wiring, switches, and appliances: if your home is prone to flooding, raising these items can help to prevent damage.
- Installing the right valves on your pipes and drainage measures: you can install valves that may prevent flooding. There are a variety of flood prevention valves and drain plugs available.
- Research which valves will be most suitable. You can also install a sump pump which may help remove water that has already entered your home.
- Waterproofing your basement: this could help to prevent water from entering your basement and causing damage. There are multiple ways to do this, so research the steps you need to take.
- Installing a smart device: these can monitor the water level in your home and send you alerts if it starts to rise.
Outside Your Home
- FEMA compliant engineered flood vents for your home: these can help to protect your home from flood damage; look into which type of vent is most suitable.
- Raising your home on stilts: while an expensive measure, this can help to protect your home from floodwaters if you’re in a dangerous area.
- Yard grading: you can improve the drainage in your yard by grading it so that water flows away from your home.
- A gap between mulch and siding: keep a large space between your siding and mulch. It should be at least six inches or more.
- Digging a drainage ditch: this can help to redirect water away from your home.
- Installing drainage and anti-flooding systems: anti-flooding and drainage systems should be installed outside as well. Do research on suitable systems.
Do Research and Get Help
These are just a few tips to get started in putting in measures to protect your home against the consequences of a flood. There are more steps you can take, so ensure you do the right research to stay safe. It’s also important that you get the right support and professional advice.
If you require any assistance in preparing for or dealing with a flood, please don’t hesitate to contact your local authority or environmental agency. They will be able to provide you with more information and support. You can call the American Red Cross at 00 1 202-303-4498.