Here is a helpful check list for preventing damage to your property by flooding and to minimize the damage that follows.
The Mitigation Phase
Prior to a flood, there are actions that you can take to diminish damage:
- Have a professional assess your property for high-risk areas. Identifying these low-lying areas gives you an indication of where sandbags will be helpful to prevent flooding on your property.
- Make sure fuel tanks located above ground are well anchored. This will prevent them from floating away in the event of a flood.
Consider dry and/or wet flood proofing your property.
- Dry flood proofing prevents flood waters from entering a building.
- Wet flood proofing allows waters to enter the building but minimizes the damage to the interior.
- Install flood warning systems to notify the building’s occupants of potential danger.
- Consider purchasing a generator for outdoor use only. Keep generators away from air intakes into the building and do not use them in any attached building, such as garages.
- Install check valves in sewer traps or catch basins to prevent the unwanted backflow of sewer water up through the trap while permitting the downflow of water through the trap and into the sewer.
Develop a plan of action in the event of a flood and make sure all of the property’s occupants are informed of the procedures.
The Preparation Phase
When a flood is imminent, there are specific steps to take to ensure proper protection for your property:
- Obtain the necessary materials for sandbags and create a plan for their strategic placement around your property.
- Secure or bring in outdoor furniture and other items.
- Stock up on clean water and other necessities.
- If evacuating the building, turn off all utilities including electric, natural gas and the main water supply.
- Place important documents, computer equipment and other valuables in a designated “flood safe” area or store them in water-proof packaging.
The Recovery Phase
Following a flood, you can prevent further damage to your property and mitigate some of the damage before restoration professionals arrive by following these tips:
- Contact your insurance provider as soon as possible.
- Turn off the main electric power, natural gas and water supply, if you haven’t already done so.
- Keep electric, natural gas and water turned off for your safety until professionals have inspected these systems for damages.
- Examine the condition of the facility after flood waters recede. Determine whether the facility is structurally safe to inhabit. If you are unsure, wait for a professional to declare it structurally safe before re-entering the building.
- Assess the extent of damage to the interior and exterior of your property. Take detailed notes and photograph the damage, if possible. This will help restoration professionals when they arrive and document the damages for insurance claim purposes.
- Remove standing water from the interior of your property.
- Remove wet carpeting and furnishings.
- Run a dehumidifier from a generator, if you have one, to help dry out the property. If you don’t have a dehumidifier run battery operated fans.
- Relocate wet items to a sunny area, if possible, to speed the drying process.
- Remove debris to the outdoors for easy pick-up.