Tips on How to be Floodsmart
1. Be informed
Preparing for a flood must be done well in advance. The first step is to educate yourself about the risk of flooding in your area. Check with your local Red Cross, planning department, zoning department or emergency management office to find out about the risk of flooding where you live. The higher the risk, the more important it is to be prepared to take action.
2. Prepare a Disaster Supply Kit
The kit should include the following:
- Minimum of three days worth of non-perishable food and a non-electric can opener
- Several gallons of water, enough for a 3-5 day supply
- Personal hygiene supplies, such as soap, toothpaste, sanitary napkins
- Battery-operated radio, flashlight and batteries
- Sleeping bags or blankets
- Extra clothes
- Rubber boots and waterproof gloves
- First-aid kit, including manual and prescription medicines
3. Protect your furniture and valuables
Move furniture to the top floors of your home. Put together a waterproof box containing insurance documents, bank documents and identification documents and move them to a secure area. Identify potential home hazards and know how to secure or protect them before the flood strikes. Be prepared to turn off electrical powe,gas and water supplies before you evacuate. Secure structurally unstable building materials.
4. Know where you can go
You should never ignore an evacuation order. Authorities will direct you to leave if you are in an area within the greatest potential path of the rising waters. Identify places you can go if the authorities do evacuate your area. Some possibilities include a relative or friend’s home, a shelter or a hotel. It will be useful to identify flood evacuation routes beforehand so you know the fastest routes to higher ground.
5. Ensure flood protection for your house
Flooding can happen anywhere, but certain areas are especially prone to serious flooding. If you plan to build a house in a flood-risk area, prepare for a flood while building it. While your house is being constructed, elevate it. Reinforce it by building barriers in the form of floodwalls, levees or beams around your property. In flooding situations, these barriers will prevent the flood water from entering your house too soon and help minimize flood damage.
6. Get Flood Insurance
Chances are that flood damage is not included in your standard homeowner insurance policy. If you’re not certain about what flood damage your insurance covers, check your policy. If it doesn’t cover damage to your home from flooding due to a natural disaster, find out how to get flood insurance.