Many make New Year’s resolutions each year. The Mid-Ohio Valley Health Department’s Threat Preparedness section recommends making one to be prepared in case of a flood.
According to FEMA, flooding is a factor in more than 90 percent of disaster-related property damage in the United States. Homeowners are encouraged to know their risk by checking their address at FEMA’s Flood Map Service Center at https://msc.fema.gov/portal/search. These will show flood-prone areas, though it is impossible to predict all flooding. It may also be beneficial for homeowners to purchase flooding insurance and for renters to buy a flood insurance contents policy.
FEMA has some other tips for preparing your home in case of flooding:
- Clean/maintain gutters, downspouts, etc. so rainwater flows away from the house
- Clean debris from drainage ditches/storm drains
- Seal any foundation cracks with mortar/masonry chalk/hydraulic cement
- Seal basement walls with waterproofing and make sure flood drains are unobstructed
- Install a sump pump to move groundwater away from house
- Install drain plugs for basement floor drains to prevent sewer backups
- Have a plumber install sewer backflow valves to pipes
- Elevate appliances like air-conditioning, water heaters, heat pumps, etc. at least one foot above potential flood height
An emergency kit is always a good place to start to be prepared. Visit ready.gov/kit for how to build your own.
“Remember ‘Turn Around, Don’t Drown,’ said Amy Phelps, public information officer for the Mid-Ohio Valley Health Department. “Don’t enter flooded areas whether or not you’re in your car. 6-inches of water can knock an adult off their feet and can cause vehicles to lose control or stall. Even small amounts of water can hide damage and debris.”
For more information, visit ready.gov/plan or floodsmart.gov.