5 Tips to Prepare for Spring Flooding
Spring is the season for floods. As a transitional season, most parts of the U.S receive a lot of precipitation during the spring. Severe storms are also characteristic of spring weather and with them, heavy rainfall. In a short span of time these heavy rains can severe cause flooding. Floods build quickly, more even quicker, and are extremely destructive. Dealing with flood conditions is all about preparation. Here are some tips to help you better prepare for spring floods.
Monitor the Weather
This is the most basic precaution to take during spring storms. If a storm is building in your area or has already hit, monitor the weather reports for any flood warnings. Flash floods can develop quickly and strike with little notice. Whether you stay informed through the TV, radio, or Internet, make sure you have an evacuation plan if a flood warning is issued. Always make sure you can easily and quickly get to higher ground.
If your home is in a floodplain or an area that is at high risk for yearly floods, consider building barriers around your home to prevent floodwater from entering. Barriers include: levees, flood walls, beams, and sandbags. There is always the risk that your home will look like a fortress, but when the floods come it won’t matter.
Have an Emergency Plan
If floods are common in your area, make sure you have an emergency response plan to resort to in the event of a flood. This may mean evacuating the area or simply aiding in efforts to dam the water, or both. Putting together an emergency preparedness kit is a good idea. This kit will have food, water, tools, blankets, medical kits, and other survival essentials and will be invaluable in the event you have to leave your home. Also, know where to go if you must evacuate and leave plenty of time to safely exit the area.
Move Valuables and Shut off Utilities
If a flood is anticipated in a flood watch, you should take the time to prepare your house for water damage. If possible, move furniture and other valuables to an upper part of the house. If flood waters reach your home, you may be able to save furniture and valuables by placing them in higher areas where the water may not reach. If a flood is imminent, shut off utilities at the main access points. This includes any electrical systems and valves for plumbing. Unplug appliances as well. Flood waters can become electrically charged and create more destruction.
Seal Basement Walls
To help prevent leaks and seepage from water, seal the walls and windows in the basement with waterproofing substances. This may not be very reliable when torrential rains produce surges of water that surround your home, but it may help reduce the likelihood of lasting damage to the foundation of your house.