With hurricane season upon us (and a recent scare from Tropical Storm Elsa), there are many things that homeowners must keep in mind in case a major storm targets their area. Preparations must be made, and if the meteorologists begin to call for high waters as part of the storm’s effects, it’s time to start thinking of flood-precautions to take so that there is minimal damage to your home and belongings. Here are 7 things you can do to help minimize flood damage:
1. Know your flood risk
In addition to doing research to find out whether or not your property is on a flood plain, pay close attention to severe weather updates, as these reports often include surge predictions for areas in the storm’s path. Use this information to help you decide what flood preparations are necessary in case of storm surge.
2. Get flood insurance
Flood damage is not covered under typical homeowners insurance, so if you don’t already have it, it might be wise to look into getting a flood insurance policy. If you already have flood insurance, review the terms to make sure you know the ins and outs of your coverage.
3. Take household inventory
Before any flooding can take place, take pictures of your belongings and catalogue information about items that might need replaced in the aftermath of a flood. Having documentation of your possessions will make filing an insurance claim just a little bit easier if the worst should happen.
4. Store items in waterproof containers
Items are best stored in sealed plastic containers instead of cardboard boxes or other materials that are easily ruined by dampness. This is especially vital for items like photos and important documents.
5. Shut off utilities
If you plan to evacuate, shut off your main breaker boxes and disconnect all electrical appliances to prevent electrical shocks when power is restored. It’s also wise to turn off any gas and water lines, since pipes can burst during a flood.
6. Elevate or move furniture
The best solution for saving furniture is moving pieces to a second story. But if you have a one-story house, try placing concrete blocks beneath larger pieces (couches, large tables, etc.) you wish to save, and stack smaller furniture pieces on top of larger ones to elevate them out of reach of rising water.
7. Strategically place sandbags
Stacking sandbags is a recommended method to help divert water from entering a house in the event of a minor flood. Place sandbags in front of doors and other points of entry, and use a plastic sheet between the doorway and sandbags for extra protection from any surging water outside of your home.
At Title Junction, we care about helping you stay informed throughout your real estate transaction. The experts at our title company have extensive knowledge about real estate not only in Cape Coral and Fort Myers, but all of Florida as well.
Have questions? Give us a call at 239.415.6574.
In case you missed it, check out our last Title Junction post: What Closing Costs Are Associated With FHA Loans?