As we witnessed recently with the tornadoes and horrific storms that plagued the south, weather has a mind of its own and can catch us off guard. We encountered this first-hand, as the storms that hit the Knoxville, TN area came very close to our offices there. Thankfully, our staff was safe and our building escaped damage. Unfortunately, however, not everyone in the area was so lucky. The damage in some neighborhoods was extensive, and flooding was significant.
Our sincerest hope is that you never find yourself in a situation that puts you or your home in the path of severe weather or flooding. As we just encountered, however, it’s better to be prepared. Below is a list of tips to help you be prepared should a flood hit your area.
1. Have a Flood Action Plan
If your area does experience a flood, it’s important that you be prepared beforehand with an emergency plan for your family to follow. This plan should include:
– identifying a family emergency contact. This point of contact could be a relative or friend that each member of your family calls if a flood should take place to let him or her know of their location and information.
– Designating a meeting place. Your family should sit down and designate a place that your family can meet in the event that there are evacuations.
– Identifying the local news radio station you will follow. To ensure that you and your family are receiving the same information, be sure to identify the news radio station that you will each listen to.
– Signing up for emergency alerts, which can be found on your state government’s website.
2. Know Where to Get Information
You should identify your city or town’s office of emergency management website, keep that website in your phone, and check it in the event of a flood. This website will likely post relevant information about the event. You should also have information stored on a reliable local weather service that you can easily access in the event of severe weather.
3. Know Your Flood Insurance Policy
It’s important that you know what your flood insurance covers, who to contact at your insurance company in the event of a flood and that person’s number, and where your insurance documents are. You should keep these documents in a designated place in your home. If your home is in a flood-prone area, you should consider keeping this, and other important documents, on an upper floor of your home, and/or in a waterproof container.
4. Prepare an Emergency Kit
In the event that you are stuck in your home or your car during an emergency situation, such as a flood, you should keep specific items on hand. These items include:
– radio (battery-powered)
– first aid supplies
– necessary medications
– rubber gloves and boots
– extra bottled water and non-perishable food items
5. Prepare Your Home
Unfortunately, there aren’t a tremendous amount of precautionary measures you can take to protect your home from flood damage. However, you can do the following:
– plug sewer traps with check valves or backflow valves, which can prevent floodwaters from backing up into your drains.
– have a sump pump installed in your basement (or make sure your previously-installed is operational).
– if you have a home security system, request to have the flood detection monitors activated, which can alert you to a flooding situation if you are not at home
– clear debris from gutters and downspouts.
6. Create a List of Flood Recovery Numbers
If your home should experience damage from a flood, it will be an overwhelming ordeal, so having a list of important numbers at hand that you can call for relief will be helpful. These numbers can include your insurance agent, basement waterproofing company (If in MD, Ameri-Dry’s number is 1-800-580-1964 Ext. 1. In TN, the number is 1-800-580-1964 Ext. 5.), and mold remediation company (if standing water was in the home for more than 48 hours). The more prepared you are, the better chance you have of recovering from the damage faster.
Barry Antonelli, the Founder and President of Ameri-Dry ® Systems (ameri.mypointclick.net), is a waterproofing expert who has dedicated three decades of his life to solving all types of basement, crawlspace, and foundation water problems. He began his career in 1978, a time when aggressive companies and pushy salesmen were the norm, but quickly changed the face of the industry by instituting programs to empower the customer, including the industry’s first Customer Relations Division; an independent Customer Service Department; and the industry’s first Lifetime Warranty Program. By the mid-1990s, Antonelli’s company was waterproofing over 1,000 homes and structures every year, while still offering a Full Life-of-the-Structure Warranty. His commitment to customer service and to developing innovative techniques for solving wet basement, wet crawlspace, and foundation problems continues. Mr. Antonelli can be reached at Contact ». Follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/AmeriDry.