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We have all heard about El Niño and the supposed onslaught of rain we will be getting later this fall in Southern California. Maybe you don’t live in an area where mudslides are common, and have never once seen a flood. Just remember how full the sewers get after a hard rain, especially when the ground is hard and not absorbing any water.
So with that in mind, The National Flood Insurance Program (www.floodsmart.gov) has a few suggestions for preparing your home for a flood:
- Make sure your sump pump is working and then install a battery-operated backup, in case of a power failure. Installing a water alarm will also let you know if water is accumulating in your basement.
- Clear debris from gutters and downspouts.
- Anchor any fuel tanks.
- Raise your electrical components (switches, sockets, circuit breakers, and wiring) at least 12 inches above your home’s projected flood elevation.
- Place the furnace, water heater, washer, and dryer on cement blocks at least 12 inches above the projected flood elevation.
- Move furniture, valuables, and important documents to a safe place.
- If flooding occurs, go to higher ground and avoid areas subject to flooding.
- Do not attempt to walk across flowing streams or drive through flooded roadways.
- If water rises in your home before you evacuate, go to the top floor, attic, or roof.
- Listen to a battery-operated radio for the latest storm information.
- Turn off all utilities at the main power switch and close the main gas valve if advised to do so.
- If you’ve come in contact with floodwaters, wash your hands with soap and disinfected water.
Check with your insurance professional about obtaining flood insurance and find out what your homeowners policy does and does not cover,. Be proactive, not reactive.