Flood Awareness: How to Prepare for a Flood

Homes and businesses in Pennsylvania are far too familiar with flooding. Montgomery County, Bucks County, the Lehigh Valley, and Delaware County have seen their fair share of high waters. On average, flooding causes more property damage in the United States than any other natural disaster. They pose a real threat to the safety of your home, business, and family. On average, there are 89 fatalities and $8.3 billion in flood damages annually here in the U.S. The history of disastrous floods nationwide and locally here in Pennsylvania illustrate the importance of flood awareness. Here is how to prepare for a flood before it strikes so you can keep your family safe.

Know your risk for a flood

Know whether or not your home is at risk for flooding so you can be better prepared when harsh weather hits. You can prepare for a flood by checking flood maps on government sites. The main factor determining your home’s risk of water damages is whether it is located in a floodplain or not.

Additionally, if your main floor is below the base flood elevation in an area, your home is at risk for flooding. Finally, your home is also at risk for a flood if it is located near a body of water, such as the ocean, a lake, or a river.

Establish an evacuation route

When a flood occurs, you’ll need to have a carefully planned evacuation route. Write down this plan and go over it together so everyone knows what to do in case of flooding.
Know the best way to get in and out of your neighborhood and out of town when it’s flooded. Remember, your evacuation route should stick to higher ground. Use flood maps to plan the evacuation route, as they will show where the worst flooding will be in your area and you will be able to get to safety quickly.

To prepare for a flood, make sure to establish a safe place to go. Additionally, make sure to establish a meeting place for your family members should you get separated.

Assemble an emergency kit

Assemble an emergency kit in a waterproof container that will get you and your family through the disaster. This kit should contain items such as: a flashlight, batteries, medications, maps of the area, a First Aid kit, an emergency blanket, copies of personal documents, a multi-tool, extra keys to the house and car, and a three-day supply of food and water with enough water for each person to have a gallon per day. For food, you should pack non-perishable foods like canned goods.

Don’t forget to pack for your pets if you have them!

Waterproof basement walls before the flood hits

Another step you can take to prepare for a flood and protect your home from potential water damage is to waterproof basement walls. Use a waterproof sealer to keep water out of that area.

Prevent flood waters in the home

If you live in a flood-prone area, have a professional install back-flow valves into your home’s drains, toilets, and sinks. These valves will prevent flood waters from coming up drains, which can cause potential water damage and flooding to your home.

Know whom to call and where to go in case of flooding. Being prepared is key.

If the water rises in your home, call Scavello.
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