When you think about flood risk, you're likely imagining southern states like Florida and Louisiana, where defending against rushing water is an innate habit. However, few homeowners realize that floods are the most widespread of any weather-related disaster. One study discovered that an estimated 41 million Americans live in places where they might be exposed to flooding, with the chance potentially rising due to climate change. In addition, according to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), one-third of insurance claims come from parcels located in moderate-to-low-risk flood zones.
As the seasonal threat of flooding increases with heavy spring rains and melting snow, here is what you need to know, according to our expert on property claims in Central Florida.
First, begin with your baseline risk – i.e. whether your house is usually at low, moderate, or high risk. You can do this with the Flood Map Service Center presented by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Then, survey your risk seasonally as required and be conscious of local flood watches or warnings. The National Weather Service wants you to know:
Unlike other natural disasters, flood risk begins at the base of your home, so your first effort is to reposition irreplaceable belongings, like meaningful records, photos, jewelry, relics, and other valuables, to higher ground if flooding is a risk. You may even choose to permanently relocate these items to a higher elevation, given that most flood insurance policies don't cover things stored in your basement, crawl space, or any below-ground space.
Clean your gutters and storm drains of debris so water can flow freely instead of building up. If you're in a region that's inclined to flooding, speak to a landscaper about modifying your slope to direct water away from your house. They also can propose hardscape features, such as a French drain that will redirect water away from the property or a brick or concrete floodwall that can shield windows or stairwells.
Yard conveniences that aren't secured can be whisked away by floodwaters or swept toward your house, generating additional damage. So, anchor weighty items like play structures and BBQ grills, which will make the backyard safer in any possible emergency.
If you're not in a region prone to floods, your home might not be perpetually prepared for possible flooding, so it's essential to have a plan of action if the unexpected should happen.
These are some flood safety tips for homeowners. Contact us today if you need help with property claims in Orlando, FL. We are here for you!