26 Feb 5 Ways to Prepare for a Flood
Floods can literally happen in every part of the country. As things like dam breaks illustrate, they don’t even require heavy rain to occur. Since water is surprisingly heavy, just over eight pounds per gallon, and can conduct electricity, it can be quite destructive in large enough quantities. As bad as these events are, though, it’s still possible to take precautions ahead of time to minimize the harm resulting from such an occurrence.
An emergency kit can be useful in a variety of disaster scenarios. Besides the normal first aid kit, it should include a battery-powered radio and several flashlights, a camp stove, and especially, containers of potable water. It’s highly likely the regular water supply will get contaminated in a flood.
While severe flooding might call for extreme measures like sandbagging, basement and foundation walls can be vulnerable to even modest floods. Arrange to have the walls coated with a sealant to block water.
Installing check valves in plumbing fixture drains can keep contaminated water from flowing back into the house. These valves are designed to allow water to flow in only one direction. This is another job that needs to be done well in advance of an actual flood.
Since there may not be time to move everything of value to a higher level in the home, household chemicals should be moved to a safer location first. These agents can amplify the damage of flood waters if they’re allowed to mix with it.
One last task before the flood waters arrive is shutting off electricity, water, and gas in the home. If the house is located in a high-risk area for flooding, you should consider having a contractor re-situate things like the furnace and water heater above the estimated waterline of a flood well in advance of any possible event.