On average, flooding causes more than 90 percent of disaster-related property damage in the U.S. each year. Preparation is the key to surviving a flood and reducing property damage. Here are some recommendations to protect your home from floods. Some are simple and inexpensive, while others require a professional contractor.

  • Most homeowner policies do not cover flood damage. To determine your flood risk, contact your local growth management, building department or visit www.floodsmart.gov.
  • Remember that there is a 30-day waiting period before flood policy coverage goes into effect.
  • Take inventory of all personal items (including model types, serial numbers, pictures and descriptions). Scan all important documents or place copies in a water-resistant/ fire-proof box or bank safe deposit box.
  • You may need NFIP Flood Insurance even if you do not reside in a high risk flood zone. Contact your local agent, insurance company, or visit www.floodsmart.gov.

  • Elevate your utilities (e.g. electrical service panel and disconnect(s), air conditioner, water heater, etc.) two to three feet above the base flood elevation.*
  • If you have a fuel tank, anchor it to a large concrete slab whose weight can resist the force of floodwaters and flotation.
  • Install sewer backflow valves to prevent sewage entry into your home during flooding.*

  • Purchase and monitor NOAA All Hazards Weather Radio or visit www.flashweatheralerts.org to download a severe weather alerts App for your iOS or Android powered device.
  • Pay special attention to the latest information when unusually heavy rains occur or are forecast to occur and when flash flood and river flood watches and warnings are issued by the National Weather Service.

*Only a bonded, licensed professional contractor should perform work that affects your home’s structure or electrical wiring or plumbing. 
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