Did you know that floods are the most common natural disaster in the United States? They often come quickly and unexpectedly. That means the time is now to take steps to protect your family and your property from the dangers that are associated with flooding.
- Know the risks of your area. FEMA’s Flood Map Service Center has helpful information.
- Know local watch and warning systems. Many local jurisdictions will offer opt-in public alert and warnings. You will have to sign up to receive the alert. Once signed up you will receive texts or emails for local emergencies.
- Check your local workplace, school, and community faith-based organizations for possible opt-in lists for warnings and notifications. This may include a call or email system similar to those used by local authorities.
- Weather alert and hazard apps are available to offer further alerts, information, and instruction during disasters. FEMA, The American Red Cross, and The Weather Channel are just a few of the organizations that offer helpful apps.
- The Emergency Alert System (EAS) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio also provide emergency alerts.
- Always follow warnings and evacuation orders. Not doing so could result in injury or even death.
Prepare Your Home
- Create digital copies of important documents. Keep paper copies in a safety deposit box or in a waterproof container.
- Protect your property by raising valuables to higher levels where possible. With help of a professional, raise furnaces, water heaters, and electrical components above the base flood level.
- Install back-flow valves or standpipes on sewer lines to prevent water from backing into the home through drains.
- Seal basement walls to prevent water seepage. Be sure your sump pump is in working order and install a battery-operated backup in case of a power outage.
- Clear drains and gutters of all debris.
Have a Plan & Practice
- Have an emergency communication and evacuation plan in place.
- Put together an emergency kit.
- Learn and practice your evacuation and communication plans.
- Consider purchasing flood insurance. Most home insurance policies do not include flood coverage, so an additional policy is necessary. These policies typically take up to 30 days to go into effect. Flood coverage may also be available through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
Floods can cause damage, injuries, and death. Preparation for this type of natural disaster will give you the information and tools necessary to keep your family and property safe and secure.
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