Flood Safety: Ways to Protect Your Home and Your Family

Article Posted By: Home Depot Staff

A home in the middle of a flood

Severe weather can strike any time of the year, and whether you’re facing a hurricane or heavy rainfall, flooding a significant danger. If flooding and water damage threaten your home and the safety of you and your family, take a look at the steps you can take to ensure maximum safety:

Spring Flooding
The melting from snowy winter drifts combined with heavy seasonal rains unleash a powerful onslaught of flooding around Spring each year. Spring flooding poses threats both to coastal cities and landlocked areas that are near rivers or other smaller bodies of water. You might be tempted to think of the threat in terms of property damage, but don’t underestimate the very real danger flooding poses to us all.

Floods threaten lives if safety precautions are not followed. “Floods occur somewhere in the United States or its territories nearly every day of the year, killing nearly 100 people on average annually, and causing damage in the billions of dollars,” said Jack Hayes, Ph.D., director of the National Weather Service. “Awareness, preparedness and action are the key ingredients to protecting lives and property when floods threaten.”

To combat this danger, here are some simple tips to follow before, during, and after facing flooding in your area:

Before The Flood
Get an Emergency Supply Kit, which includes items like non-perishable food, water, a hand-crank radio and cell phone charger, extra flashlights and batteries. You may want to prepare a portable kit and keep it in your car. This kit should include:

  • Copies of prescription medications and medical supplies
  • Bedding and clothing, including sleeping bags and pillows
  • Bottled water, a radio and extra batteries, a first aid kit, a flashlight
  • Copies of important documents: driver’s license, Social Security card, proof of residence, insurance policies, wills, deeds, birth and marriage certificates, tax records, etc.

Make sure you also assemble an emergency plan. Your family may not be together when disaster strikes, so it is important to know how you will contact one another, how you will get back together and what you will do in case of an emergency.

During A Flood

  • If indoors: turn on your battery-operated radio or television to get the latest emergency information.
  • If outdoors: climb to high ground and stay there. Avoid walking through any floodwaters. If it is moving swiftly, even water six inches deep can sweep you off your feet.
  • If in a car: turn around and go another way If you come to a flooded area.

After A Flood
When it comes time to put things back together, call your insurance agent. If your insurance covers the damage, your agent will tell you when an adjuster will contact you. List damage and take photos or videotape as you clean. You’ll need complete records for insurance claims, applications for disaster assistance and income tax deductions.

Stock up on cleaning supplies to disinfect every possible surface, piece of kitchenware, and smaller household item that doesn’t require a professional cleaning.

Floodwaters contain many contaminants, and it’s important to remove these threats to your family’s health – personally when possible, professionally when required (e.g. upholstered furniture, heating and cooling systems and ducts). With some handy knowledge and preparation, you can weather any storm, even a spring flood.

Find everything you need to recover here at The Home Depot. Even in adverse conditions, our stores remain open with the items you want at the low prices you need. For more help rebuilding, we also offer installation services.

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