Living in a flood zone or a hurricane-prone area can lead to a variety of problems down the road. Flood insurance can be a costly, but necessary addition to your expense report, damage to your home’s exterior and interior from heavy storms, and of course, the actually flooding itself can open upon another can of what seems like never-ending battles. And, if you’re new to living in a flood zone it can be intimidating and stressful not knowing how to be prepared for impending storms or high waters that your neighbors seem to be experts about. If that sounds like you, that’s okay. Here at Homes.com, we partnered up with the experts at Groundworks to bring you the advice you need in times of stress or confusion. Brian Black, a Groundworks expert, provides his guidance on what to do when you experience flooding in your home.
Panel of Experts: Hurricane Preparedness
What to Do When You Experience Flooding in Your Home
If you’re trying to get prepared before a heavy storm comes which could lead to flooding in your home, there’s a few steps you need to keep in mind and handy if that dreaded day does come.
The first and most important step is to make sure you’re safe and evacuated if needed. If you choose to remain in your home, shut off the electricity and gas. The second step is to call your insurance agent and get on the list for an adjuster to come out to your home. If it’s a presidentially declared storm, FEMA funding can come into play to assist with relief. If you want to check if your area has been declared for individual assistance, the government’s Disaster Assistance website can help by searching with your zip code. Thirdly, when it’s safe, assess the damage of your property in its entirety. Take pictures and videos of the damage when it’s fresh. If you’re unsure of what to document, get ahold of your insurance agent who should be able to direct you of every item you need to take note of. Lastly, make sure you keep all of your receipts for everything you’ve purchased.
If you experienced flooding and have done the steps above, begin to strategically dry out your home. If the floodwaters are high– especially in a basement type of area, don’t start pumping out right away as they’ll be pressing in on the side of your basement walls. Recommend to pump ⅓ to ¼ of the basement water out, then wait 8-10 hours to see if the water rises again. If it does, then pump out a few more feet. Once the floodwaters start to recede, work on actively pumping the remaining water out.
Remember, you have a duty to secure your property as best as you can as part of your insurance contract. Don’t let the problems go longer than they should. Water, moisture, mold and fungus can grow at a rapid rate and you will quickly lose structural soundness of your home.