- Find out the base flood elevation (BFE) for your property from the local authority that issues building permits. Use this figure as a guideline for preparing your home against high water.
- Have an adequate amount of basic supplies: plastic sheeting, sand and sandbags, plastic garbage bags, lumber, shovels and plywood. Prepare your own storm kit with this guide.
- Install a backflow-prevention device in the main waste line of your plumbing system. This will prevent sewage and storm water from backing up into your home.
- Every spring, test your sump pump by filling the sump pit with water to ensure it switches on and operates properly.
- Construct barriers to stop floodwater from entering your home.
- Seal walls in basements with waterproofing compounds to avoid seepage.
- If you’re remodeling or upgrading, consider raising your heating and cooling systems and main electrical panel to a level higher than the BFE.
- The best way to prepare for floods? Flood insurance.
- Standard homeowner’s insurance does not cover flooding, so shop for separate flood insurance. If your carrier doesn’t provide it, call the National Flood Insurance Program at (800) 427-4661. Premiums average $400 per year. There is typically a 30-day waiting period for coverage to take effect.
- Take an inventory of your belongings and write down brand names and serial codes. Making a video or taking digital photos will help with your documentation.
- Consider keeping insurance policies, deeds and other crucial documents in a safe place outside your home, such as a safe deposit box.