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Preparing for a Flood

Last Updated on November 20, 2011

Floods, whether normal or flash, are one of the most common, and often devastating of all natural disasters. While some floods occur due to rising water levels in lakes, creeks and rivers, those who do not live near any such bodies of water can also suffer flood damage as a result of sudden, heavy rainfall. Floods are dangerous both due to water-related structural damage as well as second-hand problems, including power outages. As such, flood preparedness is very important and should not be taken lightly.

One of the most important things to do to prepare for a flood is to create an emergency kit with all of the supplies you will need in the immediate aftermath of the flood. This kit should include basic First-Aid materials (band-aids, bandages, compresses, pain medication, antiseptics etc) as well as drinking water, a three-day supply of non-perishable food and a can opener, a battery-powered radio and flashlights, dust masks, tools (which can be used both for minor repairs and for shutting off utilities), local maps and a cell phone with charger. Other items that may come in handy include a bottle of bleach (useful as an antiseptic), disposable plates and cutlery, dry blankets and enough changes of clothes to make it through a few days. If you have pets, don’t forget to make sure that they also have food put aside as well.

In case of flood, you should also ensure that all of your important paperwork — including insurance policies, deeds, medical documents, identification and financial records are secured in a portable, waterproof container. If you suffer a large amount of structural damage, taking the time to ensure the security of these documents will save you valuable time when it comes to getting your life back in order. If you own or rent your home, make sure you have the proper flood insurance, with enough coverage to provide you the money and repair services to cover both your house and all of your important belongings.

If you live in an area that is prone to flooding, there are many steps you can take to minimize the damage if and when the waters start to rise. Use furniture elevators to make sure that your belongings all rest above the flood line. Make sure your furnace, air conditioner, water heater and all electric panels are installed above the flood line. If your house is in a location that puts it in danger of flooding, talk to a plumber about installing check valves, which can prevent flood waters from backing up into your home’s drainage system.

Whether your home lies within or above a floodplain, it is important to take the necessary precautions so that you can survive a flood with the least amount of damage possible. Taking the time out to make sure you are prepared before a flood is the best way to ensure a speedy recovery if you find yourself faced with rising waters and nowhere to go.

Mark Gregory is writing on behalf of SwiftFlow, who offer Drain unblocking London and blocked drains London.

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